08/17/2009 4:04PM

He dominates everywhere!

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I hope you enjoyed your stay here in West Virginia, Mr. Asmussen.  Now, please don't ever come back.

That had to be the sentiment of the local horsemen when Steve Asmussen, fresh off his West Virginia Derby upset with Soul Warrior at Mountaineer Park, dominated three rich stakes races at Charles Town on Saturday. 
First was WESTERN SMOKE's 12 1/2 length romp in the $100,000 Charles Town Juvenile.  A gray son of Smoke Glacken, Western Smoke ran his career record to three for five, but he's won his last two in stakes company (last time at Prairie Meadows) with 90+ Beyers.
Less than forty minutes later, KINSOLVING swooped in from Saratoga to take the $100,000 Miss Shenandoah.  In her previous appearance, Kinsolving finished ninth in the Schuylerville Stakes on Opening Day at Saratoga.  
Shortly after Kinsolving was led away from the winner's circle, Asmussen claimed the big pot of the night, the $250,000 Charles Town Oaks, with FOUR GIFTS, a filly that finished 14+ lengths behind Rachel Alexandra earlier this year in the Fair Grounds Oaks.

According to FormulatorWeb stats, Asmussen is 18-50 (36%) with a $3.27 ROI in West Virginia over the last five years. He's 9-24 (38%, $2.15) in all stakes races at the circuit.  In the West Virginia Derby over that time period, he's 3-5 (60%, $14.44 ROI).

MAGICAL FANTASY is a talented and consistent turf filly, and a matchup with FOREVER TOGETHER may be a very intriguing race down the road. 

What was more surprising?  TELLING's upset in the Sword Dancer, GRAND COUTURIER's non-effort, or the wicked pace up front?  I'd say the last mentioned.

Will the real COOL COAL MAN please stand up?  Sometimes he looks like a world-beater, sometimes he looks like an average horse.  Does Zito dare try the Woodward?

***

Here are the winning Beyer Speed Figures from last week's stakes races:

*Albert the Great (Sar):  COOL COAL MAN (N. Zito/J. Velazquez) - 107
*Evangeline Mile (EvD):  STAR GUITAR (A. Stall Jr./C. Bourque) - 101
*Sword Dancer Invitational (Sar):  TELLING (S. Hobby/J. Castellano) - 101

*National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame (Sar):  COURAGEOUS CAT (W. Mott/K. Desormeaux) - 99
*Belle Mahone (WO):  GINGER BREW (B. Lynch/T. Kabel) - 98
*John C. Mabee (Dmr):  MAGICAL FANTASY (P. Gallagher/A. Solis) - 97
*Real Gold Deal (Dmr):  M ONE RIFLE (B. Headley/M. Smith) - 97
*West Point (Sar):  BANROCK (T. Bush/K. Desormeaux) - 96
*West Virginia Sprint Derby (CT):  JU JITSU JAX (S. Lake/J. Acosta) - 96
*Prairie Meadows Sprint (PrM):  NATIVE RULER (C. Richard/T. Thompson) - 96
*Never Miss T.V. (Yav):  A ROYAL TIZZY (M. Williams/W. Dieguez) - 95
*Longacres Mile (EmD):  ASSESSMENT (H. Belvoir/G. Mitchell) - 94
*Charles Town Oaks (CT):  FOUR GIFTS (S. Asmussen/R. Albarado) - 94
*Chief Narbona (Alb):  MYLILMEMO (D. Dennison/C. Lambert) - 94
*Monmouth Oaks (Mth):  JUST JENDA (J. Jones/G. Saez) - 93
*Barbaro (RUI):  RAPPER S S (H. Dominguez/J. Ochoa) - 92
*Charles Town Juvenile (CT):  WESTERN SMOKE (S. Asmussen/R. Albarado) - 92
*Shishkabob (LaD):  MOGUMBO CAT (L. Robideaux Jr./P. Valenzuela) - 91
*Pink Ribbon (CT):  SWEET GOODBYE (C. Grove/J. Acosta) - 91
*Addison Mallery (Sar):  THUNDERS DOVE (N. Zito/J. Velazquez) - 91
*Iowa State Fair (PrM):  DON'TTALKTOME (J. Hicklin/T. Thompson) - 90

*La Jolla (Dmr):  METEORE (R. Mandella/A. Solis) - 89
*Super Derby Prelude (LaD):  UNO MAS (S. Asmussen/S. Sellers) - 88
*Emerald Distaff (EmD):  ELUSIVE HORIZON (D. Harwood/J. Gutierrez) - 87
*Mister Diz (Lrl):  HEROS REWARD (D. Capuano/A. Napravnik) - 87
*Gardenia (ElP):  WHIRLIE BERTIE (S. Margolis/L. Melancon) - 87
*Signature Stallions (Sar):  QUEEN OF HEARTS (J. Jerkens/J. Espinoza) - 85
*Ontario Debutante (WO):  FRANNY FREUD (J. Terranova II/P. Husbands) - 84
*Sadie Hawkins (CT):  JOLIE ANGE (G. Capuano/J. Ramirez) - 84
*Michigan Breeders' Cup (Pnl):  MEADOW VESPERS (R. Rettele/I. Gonzalez) - 83
*New York Stallion Cab Calloway (Sar):  UNCLE T SEVEN (J. Morrison/J. Leparoux) - 83
*Victoriana (WO):  SAN NICOLA WHISKEY (R. Barnett/E. Wilson) - 81
*Rainbow Connections (FE):  ANNE'S PURSE (R. Barnett/G. Olguin) - 80
*Yavapai Downs Thoroughbred Derby (Yav):  MICKEY ROCKS (M. Ortiz/D. Collins) - 80
*New York Stallion Statue of Liberty (Sar):  MOTHER RUSSIA (L. Rice/R. Dominguez) - 80
*Kenny Schoepf (Cby):  NOMOREWINEFOREDDIE (B. Riecken/R. Eikleberry) - 80

*Lineage (Alb):  MOVE MOVES (J. Claridge/A. Cruz) - 79
*Carlos Salazar (Alb):  ASKMETODANCE (H. Ashford Jr./A. Martinez) - 76
*Casey Darnell Pony Express (Alb):  KEY'S BAND (J. Gonzalez Jr./J. Boudieu) - 75
*Continental Mile (Mth):  TWO NOTCH ROAD (G. Thompson/S. Uske) - 75
*Miss Shenandoah (CT):  KINSOLVING (S. Asmussen/R. Albarado) - 74
*Washington Oaks (EmD):  NO FLIES ON DOODLE (V. Belvoir/G. Mitchell) - 73
*CARF Debutante (GG):  UNBRIDLED MEETING (W. Solis/W. Antongeorgi III) - 71

*Don Juan De Onate (Alb):  BONNDADDY'S (O. Grissom/J. Espitia) - 65
*Sunny's Halo (LaD):  FORESTRY STEEL (K. Marshall/E. Martin Jr.) - 60
*Louise Kimball (Suf):  TALLYS SUNDANCE (W. Marcoux/C. Dooley) - 60

*Van Berg Derby (Cls):  COBLE AVENUE (R. Mitzner/W. Arroyo) - 59
*Donnie Wilhite Memorial (LaD):  RICH PEARL (J. Todd/S. Lejeune Jr.) - 59
*Horizon Heritage (MD):  DARK AGES (H. Pilon/N. Stephenson) - 55
*Two Year Old Filly Sales (NP):  SHIFTY TIME (G. Tracy/Q. Welch) - 50

*Club House Special (Cls):  RUNNIN FOR PEANUTS (J. Smith/J. Ponce) - 36
*Two Year Old Sales (NP):  LEN AGAIN (R. Smith/Q. Welch) - 32

Here are the lifetime past performances of the highest and lowest Beyer stakes performers of the week:

Download CoolLen


***

Dan
What is your thoughts about a few comments I have made about Zenyatta?
That the only way she will be beat is 1 of 2 ways:
1. Weight
2. Mike Smith.
Too many "jockey error statments" from Mike Smith (also what is your comment regarding him?)
Also..can you please download some pp's from an old time horse...Peat Moss?
thanks,
Mickey

I disagree with both assertions.  Weight won't beat her as she'll likely compete in weight-for-age contests from here on in.  Perhaps weight would be a factor if she raced in handicaps, but that probably isn't in the cards for now. 
As for Mike Smith, I know that he gets a bad rap for constantly going wide with Zenyatta, but what else can you do considering her running style?  If he saves ground and gets beat because Zenyatta is blocked and steadied, he'd be absolutely vilified.  The one time he tried to go inside was during the first meeting with Life Is Sweet, and Garrett Gomez almost put him over the rail.  The rule of thumb is that if you have the best horse, you do everything in your power to keep that horse out of traffic trouble. 

What will get Zenyatta beat is if she loses even half a step.  With her running style, she can't afford to be dull, and still hope to run down quality younger horses after giving them a major head start. 

Smith probably isn't as good as he was when he dominated the New York standings, but he's still obviously a capable rider, and a tough SOB to boot.  Remember that he fractured his shoulder in three places in a spill at Gulfstream Park in 1998, and broke two vertebrae five months later at Saratoga.  While he hasn't approached his usual 200+ win season after those horrible accidents, he's also being more selective in choosing his mounts.  Simply put, if Smith is on one of my horses, I'm not going to jump off just because of him.

Here's what I have for Peat Moss:

Download Peat Moss

***

Two questions about Melair:
1. Her earnings were listed as $336k but the purses of her 5 races totaled just under $400k. With a 60% rip for winning how does make that much?
2. Her Silver Screen must have been one turn for her to shade under 1:20 for 7F's. Am I correct here?

Dan,
I'd like to request a few interesting sprinter PP's plus an old Argentinian champ.
Forli, To B. or Not, Sam Who, Bailarin, Freespool, and Skol.
Mathieu


I wonder if there were purse incentives for a Cal-bred winning those open races. The American Racing Manual from 1987 notes that there is a one-mile chute at Hollywood Park.. 

From the legendary Joe Hirsch's "1986 Racing in Review" column in the 1987 American Racing Manual:

"Perhaps the most spectacular 3-year-old filly of the season was Mmes. Milliard and Rous' Melair (by Debonair Roger).  The homebred Melair, who did not start at 2, made her debut for trainer John Sadler at Hollywood Park on April 25 and led all the way to win a maiden race by three and a half lengths under Pat Valenzuela, racing six furlongs in 1:10.  That was the first of five consecutive victories for this speedster, who came back from her inaugural on May 18 to win by nine lengths, after a track-record 1:08 3/5 for six panels.
Melair won two Grade III filly stakes at Hollywood Park in June, taking the Railbird by seven and a half lengths with seven furlongs in 1:22 2/5, and the mile Princess Stakes by three and a half lengths, timed in 1:34 1/5.  Her finest performance, and her last of the season, came in the Silver Screen Handicap at Hollywood Park on July 5.  Leading all the way under 115 pounds, she won by six and a half legnths and turned in the fastest time ever by a filly for a mile, 1:32 4/5.  She was competing against the colts in the Silver Screen.  Southern Halo was second and divisional champion Snow Chief was third in a field of 12.
Melair had some problems and did not run again at three, but she left the stage with a remarkable record and the quality of speed not easily forgotten..."


I've got nothing on Forli (a bit too old for our system), but here are the other past performances you requested:

Download Sprinters

***

Dan,
How is it that Fabulous Strike earns a 112 and Elusive Heat earns a 101?  Is that implying the track was what, 3 lengths slower at the end of the day?  Not buying it.  She was galloping, he was all out too.
keyfig

I'm guessing that Fabulous Strike's figure was a "Projected" number.

***

Dan, you had a list of babies to watch at  Del Mar. Could you please list them again? Thanks
brandx652

They were for Saratoga instead of Del Mar this year.  Here's the list and recap of what they've done over the last few weeks:

*CAPITALISM AT RISK (Bull Market - Stock Price, by Relaunch)
Trainer:  Richard Violette Jr.
$1,000 weanling resold for $65,000 earlier this year after working a quarter-mile in 20 and change.

Capitalism at Risk finished second in his career debut at 2-1 odds on August 16.


*MOCHA SPRINGS (Purge - Coffee Springs, by Crafty Prospector)
Trainer:  Steven Asmussen
$165,000 yearling purchase showed sharp drills this spring at Keeneland.

Mocha Springs showed up at Monmouth on August 1, was dead on the board at 8-1, and ran terribly, finishing seventh.


*ROARING BELLE (Roaring Fever - Bellebottom Blues, by Cure the Blues)
Trainer:  William Badgett Jr.
New York-bred from solid female family.

Roaring Belle breezed a half-mile in 50.67 over the Oklahoma Training Track on August 15.


*ROYAL STOCKS (Concorde's Tune - Silk Stocks, by Medieval Man)
Trainer:  Stanley Hough
Classic Florida speed pedigree.  Shows bullet works over Oklahoma training track.

Royal Stocks breezed five furlongs in 1:02.56 at Saratoga on August 16.


*SAVE TIME FOR ME (Hook and Ladder - Timely Irony, by Iron)
Trainer:  Thomas Bush
New York-bred by speedy stallion may offer value in statebred race later in the meet.

Save Time for Me finished third on Opening Day at Saratoga at 13-1 odds.


As for the stakes-bound juveniles...

*DASHING DEBBY (Medaglia d'Oro - Marquet Rent, by Marquetry)
Trainer:  Steven Asmussen
Purchased by Jess Jackson after winning her career debut by 10 1/4 lengths in the JJ's Dream Stakes at Calder.

Dashing Debby breezed three furlongs in 38.12 at Saratoga on August 17


*ENUMERATE (Proud Accolade - Clandestine, by Grand Slam)
Trainer:  Steven Asmussen
Padua Stables homebred won debut by five as 17-10 favorite.  Speedy.

Enumerate finished second in the Grade 2 Sanford Stakes on July 30 at 7-2 odds.


*HOT DIXIE CHICK (Dixie Union - Above Perfection, by In Excess)
Trainer:  Steven Asmussen
$435,000 juvenile purchase won second start at Churchill with 100 Beyer Speed Figure.

Hot Dixie Chick finished first at 8-5 odds in the Grade 3 Schuylerville Stakes on Opening Day.


*MIDST (Closing Argument - Procure, by Quiet American)
Trainer:  Todd Pletcher
Won My Dear Stakes at Woodbine for Mark Casse before being sent to Pletcher.  Liked the way she won maiden at Keeneland.

Midst worked a half-mile in 47.45 at Saratoga on August 16.


*THISKYHASNOLIMIT (Sky Mesa - Lovely Regina, by Deputy Minister)
Trainer:  Steven Asmussen
Ran into subsequent stakes-winner Backtalk in debut, then romped by seven at Churchill.  Has already won at six furlongs.  May have the most upside of the Asmussen babies.

Thiskyhasnolimit breezed a half-mile in 50.17 at Saratoga on August 17.


***

i've held out as long as I can:
Dan, I know you've recently given us Zenyatta's pps - at this point it might be nice to see her's matched up with a certain mare, now what was her name? oh yeah, Personal Ensign...
thanks as always for everything
!

Here's what I have for Personal Ensign:

Download PersonalEnsign

***

Hi Dan -
Thanks for all the PP's.  For 1 more stroll down memory lane, how about:
Aptitude
Albert The Great
and some Lukas "superstars": Houston, Over All, Some Romance, & Stella Madrid?
Thanks so much!
Pat Copelan

Here they are:

Download More PP Requests

***

Question on Tiznow-didn't he start his racing career late-as a four year old? It doesn't matter, of course, but it seems to me he won the first BC Classic in his first year of racing. 
blackstone

Both Curlin and Tiznow failed to race as two-year-olds, and both won the BC Classic at three.  Curlin won his career debut on February 3 at Gulfstream for trainer Helen Pitts and jockey Rafael Bejarano at seven furlongs.  Tiznow finished sixth in his debut at six furlongs at Santa Anita on April 22.  He won his maiden third-out on May 31 going 8 1/2 furlongs at Hollywood for trainer Jay Robbins and jockey Alex Solis.

***

Dan,
I was wondering if you could download the PP's for a horse from the early 1980's the horses name is "WIN"
dolphinblue

Here's what I have for Win:

Download Win

***

Hi Dan,
Sorry for bother you again, but do you have in your files the lifetime pps of European champs Mill Reef, Brigadier Gerard and the Canadian bred Nijinsky II, the last English triple crown, I think the worst performances they made was being runner-up! Thank you so much!
José Iglesias García

Sorry, but those three horses are a bit too far back for our database.  I have nothing on them.

***

Dan:
I don't post here often, but I was wanting to know if you could share the past performances of Sky Jack.
GunBow

Here are the lifetime past performances of Longacres Mile winner Sky Jack:

Download Sky Jack

***

Dan,
Where are the Pick 4 videos with you and Harvey Pack posted? Can't find them at DRF website.
Thanks.
Rob

You could find the great Mr. Pack, and the mediocore Mr. Illman here:

http://www.drf.com/sar/2009/SARbonusvideo.html


***

Dan 
As I am last weeks winner in handigambling 146, My race pick for HG 147 is on August 20th the 9th race at Saratoga "The Saratoga Special" 
Thanks Dolphinblue

Congrats to Dolphinblue for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling exercise.  Here are the past performances for Thursday's Saratoga Special:

Download HandiGambling147


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.  In the event of a tie, the earliest post gets first preference. One entry per Formblogger, please.

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.


***

Talk to you soon.

Happy Handicapping,

Dan

Stephen More than 1 year ago
HG 147 Wow, what a difficult race to hncp. It appears a case can be made for at least 5 of these colts and as much as I hate to bet chalk there seems to be little choice here. I wanted to see at least one out for them to be competitive in this tough field, and all have won easily in their maiden tries. China scratched or he would have been one of my choices and going by the BSF the one to beat here is Zip Quik. However I like D'Funny Bone to win. Here are my selections...... $15 Ex. Box 1-3-6 and $10 to win on 6# Good luck and let us see a safe race.
slewofdamascus More than 1 year ago
I was just watching a replay of Camptown Blues last race (2nd lifetime), who is entered in tomorrow's 7th from SAR, coupled entry is 7-2. He ran 2nd at 6 furlongs on the turf last time at BEL against MSWs. The regular view was compelling enough to give the head-on a look. The head-on reveals the presence of one of the worst rides you will ever see, this 2yo was much the best in his last race, but the jockey (chavez) fell asleep around the turn. He broke from the 3 hole, but quickly was able to get to the rail. It's obvious from the video that he was full of horse on the inside around the far turn, and his fractions for the middle 1/4 (in 24.95) and the final 1/4 (in 24.12) bears that out. The official last 1/4 does not take into account that he had to swing off the fence in deep stretch to get into the 3 path, a maneuver that cost him precious time. He lost by a half. Chavez was provided with the perfect opportunity before they hit the top of the stretch (after the horse pulled him up to be 3rd on the inside) to ease CB out and into the winning 3 or 4 path, outside his rivals. Instead, he just kept him inside. Driven, undoubtedly, by a total lack of confidence in the horse (he was beaten 16 lengths in his 1st start at 5 and 1/2 on the dirt versus MSWs with a different jockey). This is where you wish jockeys didn't read the form, but apparently that's all they do between races. Amateur sleuths. Chavez probably assumed the horse was going to retreat like a frenchmen just like the first time, so why not just stay here on the fence. Lo and behold he flies home in 24. The bottom line is that it was a horrible ride and a textbook example of what happens when a jockey rides a horse without the idea of winning. Horrible. That being said, we've got a route tomorrow, and within the dam's progency there are no winners going a route of ground, just sprinters (4 for 18, 22%). And the sire, Forest Camp is only 9% with turf routers. Chavez, who was 8% with turf sprinters is even worse with turf routers, 2%. And Chavez has the mount back. God, why?
Mathieu More than 1 year ago
Dan, sorry to ask this since you are very busy and have been getting a ton of requests lately, but can you put up the PP's for Left Bank? Posted by: scianc22 on August 19, 2009 at 04:35 PM * Now THAT'S how to ask for Left Bank's PP's. In case you missed it scianc22 Dan had a request for LB's PP's after getting all but compared to a stooper as handicapper. Why, right now Dan is easily the top handicapper in the DRF building. Ask Harvey Pack.
Alan More than 1 year ago
Mathieu, You are most welcome!! I can't believe I stumbled upon it and that we hadn't heard about this earlier! They've only begun to scan the old forms (this was a pilot project) - they are looking for partners to complete the work...after all, they have over 113 years to preserve! Walt P., Thanks!! I figured they ran steeplechase or hurdles on the inside turf area, but wasn't sure if they had a set course or just put the dogs up. The races would always be run "About" 1 1/2 to 2 miles. As you can see from this video of War Admiral's Belmont stakes win in 1937, there was no BEL turf track back then: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lc08axG0XPI In some of the archived PPs, I found BEL 7f races on a "turf course" starting in the early 1950s. Speaking of Belmont, they used to run on a diagonal straightaway called the Widener Straight Course. Again in the archives, you can find PPs from the 20s through 50s for 4.5f and 5f races on the straight course.
Mike A More than 1 year ago
C, Why can't I see the obvious, because I'm not looking through your eyes, I'm looking through mine. That's obvious. After RA's last work this is what Was written in the DRF. " RA was flying through the stretch at the conclusion of a 5f workout timed in 1:00:37 over the Oklahoma Training track". After witnessing the work Steve Asmussen said; " Off an incredible performance she's still doing TREMENDOUS" (caps mine) Sound like she needs a rest, hasn't quite recovered? AS I said earlier, they're waiting on Kensai, not RA. The only way RA runs in the Travers is if they think Kensai isn't ready. They have nothing to gain winning the Travers and much to lose if she doesn't win. That's what's obvious IMO. Once again I will say that QR is just an unknown quantity. They don't fear him, why should they. Let me ask you a question, think like JJ. Given all the scenarios, what would you do M'Friend? I've laid out what I believe will happen, you've only critiqued what others have said. Tell me what you think will happen. Mike A
dylbert More than 1 year ago
HandiGambling today!!! This week it is jockey/trainer combos that click angle for me. Prado/Dutrow, Smith/Baffert, Albarado/Scherer, & Castellano/Tagg -- 6,8,4,5 Wagers: $1 Tri Box: 4,5,6,8 $2 Exacta Box: 4,5,6,8 $3 Tri P/W: 6,8 // 4,6,8 // 4,5,6,8 $4 Exacta P/W: 6,8 // 4,5,6,8 $1 SF P/W: 4,5 // 6,8 // 4,5 // 6,8 Best of Luck to All Tomorrow!
Jason in Thailand More than 1 year ago
I am in for a hasty $50 Exacta box 2/9 for $100. I might be a total tard here, but I like the front running/close to the pace shippers coming off synthetics, especially the 9. It might be a total dud of an angle, but this race can drag you in many directions. All the best to you.
Katieattherail More than 1 year ago
Sneaking a quick break from work..... HAPPY BIRTHDAY SCIANC22 !!! Good luck and I hope you hit something big for your special day.... Katielookingdiligentatwork
Mickey More than 1 year ago
RA is the best 3-year-old filly ever. Whether or not she is the greatest female race horse ever is yet to be determined. I'm talking strictly 3-year-old fillies. Posted by: Captain Bodgit on August 19, 2009 at 07:08 AM Captain in regards to 3 year old fillies..what about Ruffian, Go For Wand, Safely Kept..those 3 alone (IMO) are better the RA. Rags to Riches was no slouch either as how many can say they beat Curlin (HOY 2 times)! RA...has done great so far...at least lets see her try 1 1/4...or at least the Woodward before we enter her into the Hall of Fame.
Whackymacky More than 1 year ago
Saratoga Scratch Update Race 1 == 3 2 == 3,5 3 == 5 4 == 3 5 == 3,5 6 == 10,11 7 == 7 8 == 11,12,13 9 == 2 10 == 2 maybe more LOL