08/28/2013 3:20PM

Havana Smoked 'Em

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Perhaps we received a glimpse into the future when HAVANA smoked a juvenile maiden special weight field at Saratoga on August 23. 

By first-crop sire Dunkirk, the runner-up in both the Florida Derby and Belmont Stakes in 2009, Havana sold for $50,000 as a yearling before being purchased for $575,000 at the Barretts March auction.  At that sale, Havana worked a furlong in a sparkling 9.3 seconds. 

Although Dunkirk appreciated a distance of ground, Havana's female family is full of sprint influences. As expected, Havana broke right to the front and took pressure from KENDALL'S BOY, a newcomer from the Tom Amoss barn.  Havana had to work, but he completed his 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:02.64, one-fifth of a second off the track record.

"I didn't want to abuse him down the lane, but I had to make sure to keep his mind on running," jockey John Velazquez told NYRA Communications following the victory. "I had to spank him and make him run away from that other horse, but he did it well. He definitely is a very good horse. We like him; I just didn't think that we were going to have to give him a hard race right off the bat."

"It didn't surprise us [Havana] broke alertly and showed speed," said trainer Todd Pletcher. "I was happy to see him put in the performance he did. He's trained well enough and he ran well enough today that something like the Champagne [Grade 1, October 5, Belmont Park] might make sense."

Kendall's Boy and third-place finisher CHOMSKY both took their shot at Havana and have lots of promise.  MISCHIEVIOUSLY, the fourth-place runner trained by Shug McGaughey, should be tighter for his second start.

*TAMAZULA, a juvenile filly by Two Step Salsa, improved her Beyer 39 points to win second-out over the Arlington polytrack.  A $25,000 yearling that resold for $60,000 in April, Tamazula earned a 91 Beyer for trainer Armando De la Cerda. Look for Tamazula next in the Arlington-Washington Futurity.

*He didn't win his return to the races at Saratoga on August 24, but BRADESTER looks like a 3-year-old to follow for trainer Eddie Kenneally.  A 93-Beyer winner around two turns at Gulfstream on New Year's Day, Bradester seemed to be on the Derby trail, but was soon sent to the farm for some rest and recuperation.  He returned in a seven-furlong, 'n2x' optional claimer against some salty older foes and finished a rallying second under Jose Lezcano. 

*He is a very talented horse, but it must be stated that VERRAZANO's Travers effort was one of the worst performances by a favorite in that historic race.

***

Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures (8/19/13 - 8/25/13):

1. GAME ON DUDE - 113 - Pacific Classic (G1) - 1 1/4 Miles (Polytrack) - Del Mar
2. WILL TAKE CHARGE - 107 - Travers Stakes (G1) - 1 1/4 Miles - Saratoga
3. ROYAL DELTA - 105 - Personal Ensign Handicap (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles - Saratoga
4. CAPO BASTONE - 102 - King's Bishop Stakes (G1) - 7 Furlongs - Saratoga
4. HAVANA - 102 - Md Sp Wt 80k - 5 1/2 Furlongs - Saratoga
6. DIMENSION (GB) - 100 - Play the King Stakes (G2-C) - 7 Furlongs (Turf) - Woodbine
6. FED BIZ - 100 - Pat O'Brien Stakes (G2) - 7 Furlongs - Del Mar
6. SR. QUISQUEYANO - 100 - Eight Miles East Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - Gulfstream
9. WILD DUDE - 99 - Md Sp Wt 76k - 6 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Del Mar
9. WINNING PRIZE (Arg) - 99 - OC 100k/C -N - 1 Mile (Turf) - Del Mar
11. OBVIOUSLY (Ire) - 97 - Del Mar Mile Handicap (G2) - 1 Mile (Turf) - Del Mar
11. VITORIA OLIMPICA (Brz) - 97 - Alydar Stakes - 1 1/8 Miles - Saratoga
13. IMAGINING - 96 - Idle Rich Stakes - 1 3/16 Miles (Turf) - Saratoga
13. LAUGHING (Ire) - 96 - Ballston Spa Stakes (G2) - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Saratoga
13. PHIL DANCER - 96 - OC 40k/N3X -N - 6 Furlongs - Parx
16. FAVORITE PATRIOT - 95 - Alw 31000N1X - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Timonium
17. DANCE TO BRISTOL - 94 - Ballerina Stakes (G1) - 7 Furlongs - Saratoga
17. IFOUNDMY MOJO - 94 - OC12k/SAL7k - 6 Furlongs - Canterbury
17. PALACE - 94 - Chowder's First Stakes - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Saratoga
17. SAYAAD - 94 - Dance of Life Stakes - 1 Mile (Turf) - Saratoga
17. SUMMER FRONT - 94 - Cliff Hanger Stakes (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Monmouth
17. TAMAZULA - 94 - Md Sp Wt 38k - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Arlington
23. WARBIRD - 93 - OC30k/SAL16k - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Arlington
24. DO I AMUSE YOU - 92 - OC 14k/N1X -N - 6 Furlongs - Saratoga
24. LUCK WITH A KISS - 92 - OC14k/SAL7k - 6 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Arlington
24. MAGIC UNION - 92 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 Mile (Polytrack) - Del Mar
24. SWEET ASSAY - 92 - OC 40k/N1X -N - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - Del Mar

*GAME ON DUDE's lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.

***

Mr. Illman,
Any chance I could get PPs posted for two horses from the last decade?
Kathy Lynn
Kathy's N Angel
[Yes, something of a theme here, I know].
Thanks.
Robert O

You can find the lifetime past performances for those two horses at the bottom of this blog post.

***

Dan, there was a old war horse that owned the downhill turf course back in the day at Santa Anita and raced under Bob Bafferth, I believe he was called Viva El Capitan...not sure if beyers were out back then but would love to see his pp's!
AzHorsePlayer

His lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.

***

Dan,
Is there any way to find out what has become of the mare Donation? She is best known as the dam of Lawyer Ron. I am curious for purely personal reasons, she was one of my favorite horses I ever rubbed (when she was a fat 2yo). If possible, I'd like to visit her and feed her some licorice; but I have no idea who owns her anymore. Any info would be great.
Thanks,
Stable Girl


Donation was purchased by Stonestreet Farm in 2007 and foaled a Distorted Humor filly the next year.  That was her last foal. 

You can contact Stonestreet at the following e-mail address for more information on Donation:

info@stonestreetfarms.com

There is a lovely photo of Donation on one of Barbara Livingston's blogs on our website:

http://www.drf.com/blogs/hello-old-friend

***

Dan could you explain something to me, on the Tomlinson ratings sometimes there is an asterisk mark on the right side of the numbers. What does the asterisk mark mean? Sometimes when I handicap I look at the first time starter or starters Tomlinson or if weather is bad or horse that never ran on an off surface I like to look it as part of the puzzle. Sometimes there is an asterisk mark on the right side of distances. What does that mean too? Thanks!
PhilD333

Here's the explanation from our Tomlinson primer on the drf.com site:

"Runners whose sire and/or damsire have relatively small samples (fewer than 80 runners), are listed with an asterisk (*) following the rating. Experience has led me to believe that small samples must be looked upon with a cautious eye. In fact, I would be inclined to favor a a solid rating of, let's say, 380, over a rating of 400* which has an asterisk attached."

The entire primer can be found at the following link:

http://www1.drf.com/misc/tomlinson.html

***

Dan,
I was talking to my co-worker and she takes care of a old thoroughbred. 26 years old and going strong. He has Seattle Slew bloodlines and went by the name: International Slew. It looks like this horse stayed in the northeast and ran at Penn Nat and Laurel. If possible would you have any PP's for him?
Thanks!
Rick

International Slew's lifetime past performances are available at hte bottom of this blog post.

***

Dan - any chance you can publish lifetime PP's for Miss Dolan's Rose? I flipped on TVG last night and just happened to catch her winning a race at Mountaineer. Not a frequent winner, but a hard knocker, and I did have her at a decent price a couple of years ago at BEL. Thanks!
Bill Duncliffe

The pp's for Miss Dolan's Rose are available at the bottom of the blog post.

***

The weekend handicapping videos should be up on the homepage later this week.

You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman

***

Congrats to Swede for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling contest.

Rick M's scoresheet is available at the bottom of this blog post.

Let's go with Saturday's Woodward at Saratoga 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.

AttachmentSize
GameOnDude.pdf69.97 KB
Kathys.pdf67.53 KB
Viva El Capitan.pdf56.54 KB
InternationalSlew.pdf59.11 KB
MissDolan'sRose.pdf66.48 KB
Copy of Formblog Travers Saratoga 8-24-13.xls67.5 KB
HGWOODWARD.pdf159.38 KB