05/19/2010 4:42PM

HG Woodbine, Questions


Tonight's HandiGambling 186 exercise is the fifth race from Woodbine, a $50,000 maiden claimer for fillies and mares going 6 1/2 furlongs on the polytrack racing surface.

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.  Past performances are available on the previous page.  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.

Let's scratch #2 STARS IN MY EYES. 

Several in here look like contenders but I'm going to go with a couple of angles in this tricky maiden claimer. 

#5 LANTANA LADY figures a good price based on her poor running lines, but she'll drop into a claimer for the first time and that's often a big angle in these kind of races.  By Lion Heart, she has a little pedigree on the bottom as her second dam, Humble Clerk, was a multiple Grade 3 winner. 
Lantana Lady faced some solid horses last year at two.  In her career debut, she only finished 5 1/4 lengths behind eventual Mazarine (G3-C) winner Biofuel.  In her second start, she faced next-out Natalma (G3-C) winner Bay to Bay.  Lantana Lady ran well enough in her third start on grass (in a key race) to justify a play tonight.  She was far behind most of the way and finished evenly on the far outside.  I'm willing to forgive her most recent run on May 2.  That race, her first in almost eight months, was contested over a speed-favoring polytrack surface and Lantana Lady trailed down the backstretch. 
The barn does very well with second off the layoff runners and the drop may do the trick.

#4 MI QUERIDO has never been this cheap and should show good early speed off the freshening.  She may have to deal with #6 BAY OF FUNDY in the early stages, but Mi Querido shows a solid string of five-furlong workouts leading to her return and attracts Chantal Sutherland to ride. 
Note that Mi Querido is bred both sides for speed (by Forest Camp out of a half-sister to Fall Highweight winner True Direction) and she only was beaten four lengths by Sharp Secretary, a stakes-placed runner in her only start this season. 

#10 FRECKLED ROSE is certainly fast enough as she's the best-last Beyer performer in the field, but I thought she received that number thanks to a perfect trip.  She rode the rail throughout on April 30, cut the corner turning for home, and faltered badly in the final furlong.  It didn't look like she galloped out very strongly but may be moving forward in the third start of the form cycle. 
She can work out a nice outside stalking trip tonight, but has yet to gain ground from the stretch call to the wire.  This dam was multiple stakes-placed sprinting on the main track and Freckled Rose needn't be Zenyatta to win this maiden claimer.

Like the top selection, #3 PLAYING FOR FUN drops into a maiden claimer for the first time.  She also goes second off the layoff while removing blinkers so there are a plethora of angles in her corner. 
She ran a competitive number without blinkers as a July juvenile and had the misfortune to tackle the sharp Amazon Belle in her first start following a nine month layoff on April 24 (that stakes-placed runner returned to take an entry-level allowance with a 70 Beyer). 
This is the first time Playing for Fun has strung two races together without a layoff line so one could argue that she's over the problems that have limited her to only three runs. 
She's out of an unraced half-sister to Cigar Mile winner Devious Course and can improve at a nice price.

#14 SNOW PATCHES also drops in for a tag for the first time while making the second start following a long freshening.  A half-sister to stakes-placed router Giquere, Snow Patches attracts high-percentage rider Patrick Husbands. 
That last race hasn't produced anything of note just yet, however, and the outside post may force Husbands to race wide throughout.

As for the others:

#1 ALWAYSADREAM seems like a popular pick as her trainer, Terry Jordan, shows amazing statistics.  Also, this gray filly has some pedigree.  The dam, Mysteriously, was a multiple Grade 3 winner (13-27 for 659K, 6-8 in main track sprints) and she has already foaled Garde 3-placed turf runner Strizzi and stakes-placed performer Multipass. 
Alwaysadream finished behind Mi Querido in her debut after a slow break and another poor start could prove disastrous from the inside post position.

Bay of Fundy is yet another racing for a claiming price for the first time, but this will be her first race in over five months.  A half-sister to stakes-placed Courtney Bay, Bay of Fundy should show good speed in this spot.  The runner-up of the December 3 race returned to win two of her next three races. 

#7 RED SIERRA is out of a half-sister to Grade 2 winner Tap Day and she drops out of the Mi Querido maiden special weight on November 15.  She loses Sutherland and may need one off the bench.

#8 SEE AND BE SEEN is expected to improve as the "second-time starter, first-time Lasix" angle can be potent.  The runner-up from the debut try returned to finish third in the Fury Stakes with a 75 Beyer Speed Figure. 
She drops for a top barn and is out of a half-sister to swift sprinters Razor and Silk Broker.  Note the 16-day gap between the April 19 and May 5 workouts. 

#9 GOLD NUGGET's dam was stakes-placed on grass and the Red Bullet filly shows some quick works for her first start since late October.  The drop in class may help and the barn is having a great meeting thus far.  Three horses came out of that debut try to win, but note that she finished behind Mi Querido that day. 

#11 EQUALLY COURAGEOUS is by a sire that won the Tampa Bay Derby and is 3-36 with debut runners.  The dam raced exclusively in main track sprints, winning the West Virginia Futurity as a juvenile filly.  She's foaled one runner that has yet to place

#12 PUNNCLEE ONTHE RUN was dismissed at 101-1 odds against lesser $25,000 maiden claimers last November.  She may be in tough for her first start at three. 

#13 LOVELY PRINCESS is by a sire that went 2-6 for $54,900 (both wins in main track sprints).  Master Bill is a full brother to multiple Grade 2 winner Banker's Gold and is 13-140 with debut runners.  The dam was thrice stakes-placed and has foaled Forever Running, a nine-time winner with earnings of 258K. 

Here's how I'll play HandiGambling:

$50 WP - Lantana Lady (#5)

Best of luck to all.


Dan, ICE BOX passed 13 horses in the stretch of the Derby, and 9 in the final furlong.  Are these records?
Also, which is the SAFEST main track in Amerca?
Dan, sorry to ask so many questions but could you please post the updated list of top Beyer Par races?
Captain Bodgit

Some notable Derby closers:

It looks like Don Q. holds the record for passing horses in the final quarter-mile.  In 1928, he rallied from 22nd (and last) to finish seventh. 

*Jazil rallied from 17th to finish at the mile call to finish in a dead-heat for 4th in the 2006 Derby.

*High Echelon rallied from 15th at the mile call to finish 3rd in 1970.  In that same Derby, Admiral's Shield passed ten horses in the final quarter to finish sixth.

*Little Current went from 17th to 5th in the final quarter-mile of the 1974 Derby.

*Mine That Bird rallied from 12th to 1st in the final quarter of the 2009 Derby.   

*Kissin Kris moved from 18th to 7th in the final quarter-mile of the 1993 Derby.

*Imawildandcrazyguy moved from 16th to 4th (11th to 4th in the final eighth) in the final two furlongs of the 2007 Derby.

*Giacomo went from 11th to 1st in the last two furlongs of the 2005 Derby.  

*Denis of Cork moved from 13th to 3rd in the final quarter of the 2008 Derby. 

*Gay Bit passed ten horses in the final quarter-mile to finish sixth in 1944. 

*Dr. Miller passed ten horses in the final quarter-mile to finish fourth in 1961. 

*Silent King passed ten horses in the final quarter-mile to finish ninth in 1984. 

*Menifee and Excellent Meeting both passed ten horses in the final quarter-mile of the 1999 Derby (12th to 2nd for Menifee, 15th to 5th for Excellent Meeting).

*Impeachment went from 13th to 3rd in the final quarter of the 2000 Derby. 
It seems Ice Box may hold the record for passing runners in the final eighth.  Other late-late closers include:

*Beau Butler passed seven horses in the final furlong to finish third in the 1924 Derby.

*Laser Light went from ninth to second from the stretch call to the finish in the 1982 Derby.

*Timber Country moved from 10th to 3rd in the final call of the 1995 Derby. 

*A P Valentine rallied from 14th to 7th in the final eighth of the 2001 Derby. 

*Outta Here moved from 14th to 7th in the final eighth of the 2003 Derby. 

As for the safest track out there, I really don't have a clue.

I will quote the top Beyer pars from the recently released 2010 American Racing Manual.  Please note that the list will not include this year's running of said stakes races:

Breeders' Cup Classic - 116.30
Whitney Handicap - 115.15
Pimlico Special Handicap - 114.47
Jockey Club Gold Cup - 114.30
Woodward - 114.25
Hollywood Gold Cup - 113.85
Santa Anita Handicap - 113.75
Pacific Classic - 113.74
Massachusetts Handicap - 113.73
Metropolitan Handicap - 113.65
Breeders' Cup Sprint - 113.30
Cigar Mile - 112.95
Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap - 112.68
Vosburgh - 112.65
Donn Handicap - 112.47
Oaklawn Handicap - 112.42
Forego - 112.35
Breeders' Cup Turf - 112.15
Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash - 111.58
Bing Crosby Handicap - 111.55
Suburban Handicap - 111.50
Carter Handicap - 111.40
Tom Fool Handicap - 111.39
Strub - 110.83
Philip H. Iselin - 110.75
Breeders' Cup Mile - 110.55
Travers - 110.30
Gulfstream Park Handicap - 110.25
Bold Ruler Handicap - 110.10
Haskell Invitational - 110.05
Preakness - 110.00
Stephen Foster Handicap - 110.00
Brooklyn Handicap - 109.84
Palos Verdes Handicap - 109.56
General George Handicap - 109.50
True North Handicap - 109.50


I think it was you that suggested it, but the idea of a FormBlog Convention is super. 
I will admit to home-team bias and root that Chicago gets to host it.  One advantage is that the convention be structured around live racing (after all, we like that kind of stuff), whereas it cannot in Vegas.

I also agree that it's a fine idea.  If anyone wants to take charge and make preliminary plans for a meeting, e-mail me offline.  I'd love to see everyone.


Dan - that is just butt stupid, they hold the BC turf sprint on the frickin' downhill; I don't know ANYONE who would call it anything but a turf sprint, but it's not in the eyes of DRF? Time for you to use that shiny new black hat and tell the good old boys that they need to fix this...
Steve T

Thanks, Unk.  There are now three bullet-holes in my brand spanking-new hat and they shaved off half of my mustache. 
I still agree with you.  It is one of the dumbest things I've ever heard of...misleading and irresponsible to boot.


Arlington shooters:
Nick Canani is listed as the trainer of Cozeene's Destiny, going today in the 1st at Arlington, a 12.5K claimer. I take it he took this horse out of the winning effort at Gulstream in his last?
Keith L.

Canani actually claimed Cozzene's Destiny on January 16 at Gulfstream.  The gray finished fifth on February 13, won on March 17, and was scratched out of the Arlington race in question.


As an aside, does anyone know who Sydney Dutrow is?

"Chip" Dutrow is the brother of Richard Jr. and Anthony.


Hi Dan,
Looking forward the Belmont in three weeks and seeing the lack of horses with real stamina today, could you please post the pps of these old glories Armed, Assault and Gallorette and the recent retired Yeats who wan four times the Ascot Gold Cup at 2 1/2 miles? Thank you in advance!
José Igleysias García

Here they are:

Download Armed

Download Assault

Download Gallorette

Download Yeats


One of my favorite Cali horses, and a sire, who seems to be doing better lately is Came Home. Can you give me the lifetime PPs for this one?

Here they are:

Download Came Home


Does anyone know anything about the trainer Edward R. Barker?

According to the DRF database, Barker owns lifetime statistics of 1639 starts, 158 wins, 169 seconds, and 202 thirds (9% winners, $1.57 ROI)

Here are his numbers since 2000:

2000:  8-172 (4%, $1.76 ROI)
2001:  16-147 (10%, $1.19 ROI)
2002:  11-141 (7%, $1.01 ROI)
2003:  13-102 (12%, $1.80 ROI)
2004:  7-78 (8%, $0.99 ROI)
2005:  5-45 (11%, $0.60 ROI)
2006:  7-59 (11%, $3.82 ROI)
2007:  8-102 (7%, $1.38 ROI)
2008:  14-124 (11%, $1.71 ROI)
2009:  9-51 (17%, $2.36 ROI)
2010:  6-42 (14%, $1.49 ROI)


Talk to you later,