09/17/2008 4:06PM

HandiGambling 102, some questions


Are we going to do Handigambling again this week? Rather than you having to get involved, how about each of us rotate and pick a race? I actually have a nasty little 6.5F 32K claimer at Fairplex on Wednesday, the 4th race. Should be interesting - dirt, bull ring track, Pedroza.
Steve T.

I have no problem with you guys rotating on the race selection.  Let's just keep the day consistent so Wednesday could be the HandiGambling race.

In today's fourth race at Fairplex, I really like #1 Friendly Mystery.  Although no match for the gate-to-wire runway winner, I was pleased that she handled the tight turns of the bullring oval so nicely.  That race, 11 days ago, was the faster division of $32,000 maiden claimers for fillies and mares.  Friendly Mystery adds blinkers, draws inside, and should be on the lead going into the first turn.  If she handles the turns as well as she did last time, she'll be tough to catch.  If I can get 2-1 odds or her, I'll bet three-quarters of my mythical $100 bankroll on her to win.  Tattler is my second choice as she drops out of maiden special weights, and that seems to be the most powerful angle in maiden claiming races.  She also adds blinkers for a barn that does much better second-out than with debut runners.  That Beyer seems a bit inflated for me as the race was slower than a Cal-bred maiden special weight for juvenile fillies earlier on the August 23 card.  Couple the 64 Beyer with the addition of meet-leading rider Martin Pedroza, and Tattler may be overbet.  I don't really like anyone else.  Hooked on Nine has solid figures, but has a tendency to get rank coming out of the gate, and it will be interesting to see how she handles that first turn.  Tizzalating drops in class, but may not be as quick as Friendly Mystery.  Dixie Dot Chance is marooned outside, and the others have poor form.  I'll play my bets this way:

$75 win -  Friendly Mystery (2-1 odds or more)
$10 Exacta - Friendly Mystery/Tattler
$5 Exacta - Tattler/Friendly Mystery
$1 Trifecta - Friendly Mystery /Tattler/ALL

$4 goes to ice cream.

Good luck.


How about the FTS in the
1st@Fairplex today? #6,Ms.Buckshot, makes her long...
(You get the idea)
Awaited debut as a 10YO in an 870Y dash
(may need a start)
Bombs Away Bob Grant

BombsAwayBob Grant,

It appears 10 years was enough training time. Ms. Buckshot - $14.80 in debut. lol|

I guess there was a reason they didn't retire her.

Download oldie.pdf


Dan, noticed some interesting horses sired by Great Notion.  Can we get a look at his lifetime PP's.

Great Notion won the Southwest Stakes at three at Oaklawn Park, and almost pulled off a shocking upset win in the Grade 1 King's Bishop later that year at Saratoga.

Download greatnotion.pdf

He stands for $3,500 in Maryland at Northview Stallion Station.  Here is his stallion page from their site:



Has anyone heard what became of John Velazquez, after being thrown off Country Star when she flipped in the starting gate? (Gazelle Stakes, Bel #9)?
Physically is was pretty violent (TVG kept showing a replay)
Country Star was up and walking, so I hope she came out ok.
SR Vegas

Country Star reportedly suffered cuts to her legs, and needed stitches for a wound to her stomach.  I'll add her to the DL once I'm finished catching up.
Velazquez rode on Sunday's card at Belmont.


Anyone else think it is unusual that Colonel John hasn't worked for a month? Obviously he will not get a race before the BC, which I think is a real mistake.
Steve T

Colonel John breezed a half-mile in 48.40 on Sunday morning at Santa Anita.   Here's the video of the work from youtube:



Isn't the Goodwood in a few week, so shouldn't Casino Drive be here for quaranti

I have watched all the Zarakava's races on youtube and i think she is one of the greatest fillies i have ever seen. Could you post her lifetime pp's and racing post numbers.

Here they are:

ownload zarkava.pdf


Hi Dan:
can you please post the past performance beyer Figure for Major Malone at penn national on September 6, 2008.

Major Malone received a 40 Beyer for his maiden win at Penn National.


Dan or anyone else: what is the Beyer for Rockem Sockem in the Frontier Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course?

Rockem Sockem got an 84 Beyer in the Frontier Hndp.


Download zarkava.pdf

ne soon?
g or g

Looks like Spirit One in the Goodwood, and the more-heralded Casino Drive in an allowance race at Santa Anita.


Keep on eye on recent MSW winner AP Cardinal who blew his field away on Sunday at Monmouth. he is a BIG grey by AP INDY out of Smok'n Frolic. I watched him school twice prior to his race Sunday and he is some good looking individual. Should really relish going long too. Cam Gambollati trains for Rick Pitino and crew. Does anyone know what kind of Beyer he got? He won by 3 under wraps after running quick early fractions.

dk- AP Cardinal got a 63


Back with more thoughts tomorrow.



Larry Thiel More than 1 year ago
That's really Tinky's problem. He's incapable of disagreeing and moving on. He's got to have the last word. Because he's the smartest among us.
Larry Thiel More than 1 year ago
I agree with not playing last out maiden winners at short prices. An exception to that for me, is if the maiden win was in the horses first race ever.
Laura More than 1 year ago
Sunday's Belmont Iron Maidens selections are available at http://www.thoroughbredink.com I'm working with my format a little and will be revising it over the next month to make it more useful to handicappers, not just an interesting pedigree article. I'll also be re-vamping the ratings section so stand outs are more readily apparent. Suggestions/comments from the BB'ers are always welcomed!
Calvin Carter More than 1 year ago
WOW! That was a wild ride. On Sunday the 14th of September the remnants of Hurricane Ike roared through the Ohio River valley and the Kentuckiana area with 81 mile per hour winds which created the worst power outage in the history of Kentucky with 301,000 homeowners without power and approximately 61,000 homes in Southern Indiana without power. Kentucky Governor Steve Breshear called 12 Kentucky counties in a state of emergency and he called out the Kentucky National Guard to help in the cleanup and help restore order to a very chaotic situation. Lois and I finally got our electric power restored at 9:10 p.m. on Friday 9/19/08. Fortunately, we had no home or car damage. But many in the Kentuckiana area had a lot of property damage. Although we were inconvenienced for six days without electric power I can’t help but think about those poor souls in the gulf coast of Texas. Many of those fellow Americans lost everything they owned and that makes me thankful for what we have and sad for their loss.
PGM More than 1 year ago
Steve, Definitely an ambitiuous schedule on Saturday. Must be a sale at Macy's for the wife. *wink* I find you demented for playing the Arlington card in full, but then again, I am playing the stakes at Suffolk and Arlington from AP.
tony kelso More than 1 year ago
Buffalo Joe! Way to hit that pick 4! And who said Canada is a socialist country? They don't tax money made the old fashioned way, through gambling. Maiden race method - continued: Thanks for people commenting on the maiden race method I proposed. Her are a few modifications I use for betting. Well-bred 4yo FTS win more often at Gulfstream and the So. California tracks than at other tracks, so at those locales I will give those horses a closer look. 5 year old maidens are an automatic throw out for me. My main strategy with maiden races is use my ideas on maidens to "discard" horses that are unlikely to win. Quite often a horse will be 5-1 or less with a trainer that wins at a 15-1 or 20-1 rate. By eliminating those types, and the ones that don't breeze well, I can get the race to 3 or 4 horses, usually the favorite is in there, sometimes not, along with a few FTS I like at 5-1 to 12-1. If I can play a pick 3 I will, as long as I "like" the neighboring races also. I usually don't play exactas in a race like that unless I really LIKE 2 horses, like I did Friday at Woodbine. Generally I don't play trifectas, I'd rather have the exacta multiple times.
buffalo joe More than 1 year ago
Stephen Taylor- I have known of 2 mares who have one their final races while in foal, and another who won her second last race. They were all claiming horses, who had value as brood mares. So if I liked a horse, knowing she was in foal would not stop me from backing her at the windows. Now even though I have a slight headache, I have to look at Tony Kelso's 2nd at Woodbine race, at least in isn't in a p-4 so I don't have to drive the 5 or so miles to FE to play, I can play over my twinspires account if I like the race. The race my have a good DD betting angle.
Katieattherail More than 1 year ago
This Public Service Announcement is brought to you by Chalky the Weasel: Don't forget to post your picks for the BC Dreaming Contest today. Here are the PPs:FORMBLOG BREEDERS' CUP DREAMING contest races this weekend: MassH500K: http://www.brisnet.com/bris_link/pdfs/winstar_farm_llc_124843.pdf TiznowH150K: http://www.brisnet.com/bris_link/pdfs/winstar_farm_llc_124744.pdf (Premium Pick for the Tiznow: Got The Last Laugh - Zayat) Alan will update when he gets back to the mainland. Oh, I'm going with Jonesboro/Commentator. Eat more chalk! Chalky (Katieattherail)
vicstu More than 1 year ago
A question to Tinky or some other pragmatic horse handicapper: True Speed vs. Lone Speed: Why do so many handicappers feel Commentator is a true speed horse with stamina? He needs to be on the lead unchallenged to win at any distance. When challenged or looked in the eye, Commentator does not win. At routes, he needs an easy lead and he becomes very dangerous. At sprints, when challenged for the lead, he folds. He has more heart as an older horse, but still, when challenged by First Defence in the Met Mile, he could not hold off Divine Park in the stretch-but was a more game C. Last week, Tinky (you) said that a good speed horse can set or run up on fractions which are fast and still win. Its supposed to be what seperates a true grade 1 speed horse from the speed horses that do better on the lead alone. According to Commentator's ppfs, when pressed, or forced to run the first quarter mile in under 22 seconds, he does not win. Speed horses hold their speed when challenged IMHO. Where does that leave Commentator? He is no doubt fast. When Commentator has had an easy lead, regardless of the fractions, he has won, sometimes going away. But when pressed, or challenged by a strong sprinter who runs the first quarter in under 22, like Attila's Storm did in the Ag Vanderbilt (GrII) at the Spa, Commentator spits the bit and tires, or will simply fade back without even trying. Compare that with 2 other speed horses that I submit were every bit as fast as Commentator (faster if you look at the fractions) and who always ran all other speed horses around them off of their feet and to the back of the pack: Atticus and Hard Spun. Atticus set the world record for 1 mile on turf, blowing away Dr. Fager's dirt time while he was at it. And HS we all remember from last year, one of the few 3 year olds in the last 25 years to win stakes races at 6, 7, 8 and 9 furlongs, and to cutback to 7 and winning the Kings Bishop after placing in the Haskell (only other horse to do this was Tale of the Cat). In fact, I would take HS or Atticus over Commentator in a 1 mile match race. Dirt or turf. Of course, neither horse has come close to touching Atticus's world record of 131 and 3/5 seconds for 1 mile. But, HS hardly had a career to do anything with, and was faster younger than Atticus was. What would Commentator do if HS or Atticus pulled up next to him on the lead early and a speed duel ensued? Both HS and Atticus have WON races after being caught in speed duels. Not Commentator. I am not denying that Commentator is a very fast and dangerous horse when loose on the lead at fractions he is comfortable with. But, whenever he is in a race with another horse who either beats him to the first turn, or matches stride with him for the first 6 furlongs, Commentator CAN NOT hold on to the lead. Moreover, after running Spin Master off of his feet in the Kings Bishop after torrid fractions, Hard Spun was pressed hard by First Defence before shaking loose and winning by 2-1/4 lengths in a show of sheer guts and class at the Spa. Atticus fought for the lead in the 96 Kentucky Cup Classic, was pressed throughout setting fast fractions, and drew away to win in the stretch at 9 furlongs. Commentator, on the other hand, was pressed by First Defence in the Met Mile (another grade 1) in the early stretch, and could not hold the lead and was game but passed rather easily by Divine Park in the stretch. Consider these relevent fractions and placement: Hard Spun Kings Bishop: 21.4, 44.1, 108.3-first 3 calls. Finished 1st. (7 panels, dirt) Atticus 96 Ky Cup Classic: 22.4, 45.2, 108.4-1st 3 calls.Finished 1st. (9 panels, dirt. Note 6 furlongs-1:34 flat on a sloppy wet track rated S). Commentator Met Mile: 22.4, 44.2, 109.3-first 3 calls. Finished 2nd. (8 panels, dirt). Commentator Vanderbilt: 21.3, 44.2, 56.1, 1:08.4. Finished 6th, failed to keep pace with Attila's Storm. Winner was Diabolical. (6 panels, dirt). Note: the pace in the grII Vanderbilt was actually slower than the 1 furlong longer Kings Bishop above. Note that both Hard Spun and Atticus ran their 1st 3 splits in 1:08 and change. Fast enough to win a 6 furlong graded stakes race comfortably at the Spa or Turfway. Yet they kept going further to win, despite being pressed. That's true speed. Of course, at 10 panels, HS was nailed by SS and Curlin in his 2 10 panel races. He was dangerous but could be caught with the right trip. But 9 furlongs and under HS was very hard to beat regardless if he was pressed hard or had things all his way. Atticus at 9 furlongs was at his limit. Probably like Commentator. Mario Pino said several times that Hard Spun was the fastest horse that he had ever ridden; as fast or faster than Diabolical up to 6 furlongs, with twice the stamina. Atticus's world record speaks for itself. To me, a horse like Hard Spun was a true speed horse with stamina and heart. No horse that matched strides or challenged HS early was around late. They faded to last or near last like they hit a wall (Cowtown Cat, Tueflesburg, Lawyer Ron, Stormello, Spin Master, etc.) To me, that is the sign of a true speed horse- challenge early at your own risk. Atticus could be erratic when younger, was from France, out of Nureyev, but became very fast later on. How fast would HS have been at age 4 or 5? This year, Big Brown also ran all the speed near him off of their feet and to the back of the pack in the Florida Derby-then opened up on the field. I also feel Big Brown is a true speed horse that has great tactical speed, who has now shown heart and resolve when challenged, regardless of BSFs. I know I am probably biased as everyone knows I thought Hard Spun was unbelievably talented and speedy and I am a Big Brown fan. Commentator's clunkers that he has run are troubling and cannot all be throw-outs. But when he has things his way he can be awesome. In other words, a terrible horse to bet on. Still, I like the horse but struggle to figure out if he is anything more than lone speed dangerous. I am not bashing the horse, merely trying to quantify him. Commentator, it seems, is the contra-speed horse. The key to beating Commentator appears to be pressing him early and making him earn those early fractions. Regardless of the pace, if Commentator is allowed to get an easy lead, he can be hard to get. Dr. Pleasure's trainer admitted as much and said the key was to press Commentator early. And, unlike Hard Spun (but like Big Brown) Commentator's career has been riddled with soundness issues. To me, a true speed horse with stamina is there at the finish, at least hitting the board, regardless of the pace or race setup. Commentator is erratic. So, I think the horse is remarkable in his own way, but I take issue when Zito says Commentator has unprecedented speed. Ah, contraire... Beyer loyalists--this post has EVERYTHING to do with pace and speed. BEYER SPEED FIGS (BSF) are irrelevent to this discussion. So, please, spare me BSF arguments since they do not factor pace. But, I'd love some feedback if you feel Commentator is a true speed horse who is dangerous under any setup. If not Commentator, what horses now or in the past? And watch Commentator win going away today while being pressed...and I end up looking like a fool. BTW, Ghostzapper (who was a closer as a sprinter) was IMO a very good speed horse at route distances who could run and win regardless of the pressure put on him. Despite this, he was handed the lead in the BC Classic and won in a laugher. Like BB, Commentator, he had soundness issues.
tony kelso More than 1 year ago
Buffalo Joe: I liked the #9 in race 2 Saturday at Woodbine, but thought there would be no value except in the exacta box 9-4. The #4 that I liked in the same race was definitely "the speed," but it looks like even with a clear, uncontested lead the #4 can't relax and needs to dropped into maiden claiming company. I did get a win bet down on Shadowless, the horse in Race 5 that won and paid a very reasonable $14.50. I actually bet Shadowless in the "Queen's Plate;" if one looks up Shadowless' family tree his 3rd dam and 4th dam are blue hens. It looks like he has a future in turf sprints. The only negative was he opened up at 12/1 and got bet down to 6/1. I was hoping for a little better payoff; he was the 5th fastest horse on Beyer figures in the race (although only 7 points off the favorite, who tripped and nearly fell on the turn). I do not know where people stand on the Woodbine jockeys, I really like Jim McAleny and Emma-Jayne on turf or poly and Ramsammy on the Poly with loose speed. I like Pizzarro on closers. I can trust Chantal on the right horse. She isn't overly creative but she puts her horse in the right spot most of the time. I am NOT a Husbands fan. He's usually on chalk and it seems to me he rarely times his moves well. I thought Husbands cost Sealy Hill the E.P. Taylor in 2007 by moving very early. What do people think about the Woodbine jockey colony? It would be great to get comments.