09/27/2011 2:31PM

To Honor and Serve, Royal Currier, Beyers, etc.

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How good was TO HONOR AND SERVE's win in the Pennsylvania Derby?

While To Honor and Serve ran very well in the Pennsylvania Derby (one-fifth of a second off the nine-furlong track record, 103 Beyer Speed Figure), I thought there were some holes in his race.  He didn't face the strongest field in the world, had some trouble with his lead changes in the stretch and raced up close over a speed-favoring track. 

His connections have options. 

While the Breeders' Cup Classic is very tempting, especially considering the lack of a true superstar pointing to that spot, it would be To Honor and Serve's first stakes appearance against older horses.

That's a tall task. 

If I was running the show, I might point for an easier race against straight three-year-olds (the Grade 3 Discovery Handicap at 1 1/8 miles for $100,000 at Aqueduct on November 19) before sending him South for the winter.  I do realize that it would be hard for his connections to run for "only" $100,000 when they just won a $1 Million pot, but I'm thinking long-term (and must admit that I'm overly-conservative in these cases). 

[Another possible option against older horses would be the $500,000 Clark Handicap at nine furlongs at Churchill Downs on November 25.  In this spot, he'll have an opportunity to pick up an important Grade 1 win while facing a bit weaker than he would challenge in the Breeders' Cup Classic]

To Honor and Serve is a very nice colt with excellent tactical speed.  His trainer, Bill Mott, did a great job getting To Honor and Serve back to the races in top form after missing the Triple Crown grind with a suspensory injury. 

But will the Breeders' Cup Classic be too much too soon?

I guess we'll find out.

***

ROYAL CURRIER ran a freakishly-fast race in the $250,000 Gallant Bob Stakes on the Pennsylvania Derby undercard, but he's never run that kind of race before (107 Beyer in the Gallant Bob; previous best from 15 races was a 94, also at Parx) and he may have been aided by the speed-friendly main track. 

That number may attract some attention at the betting windows if his connections decide to run against older horses in the Breeders' Cup Sprint.  As of right now, I'm dubious as to whether he can repeat that performance at Churchill Downs.

***

POMEROYS PISTOL did well to defeat the hard-knocking TAR HEEL MOM in the Gallant Bloom Handicap at Belmont, but it may be time to sell high on this 3-year-old filly.  The Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint is next on the agenda and it is shaping up as a very salty affair.

***

Fans of trainer Mike Mitchell weren't surprised when CARBONITE, a $32,000 claim on May 6, won the $50,000 Governor's Cup Handicap at Fairplex.

Mitchell is a master at claiming horses and turning them into stakes-winners.  Over the past five years, Mitchell transformed these other horses from claimers to blacktype winners.

*CELESTIC NIGHT (claimed for $80,000 on March 10, 2011, won the $100,000 El Cajon Stakes at Del Mar on September 2, 2011)

*DELTA STORM (claimed for $40,000 on May 26, 2008, won the $85,000 Pirate's Bounty Handicap at Del Mar on September 3 and the $75,000 Robert K. Kerlan Memorial Handicap at Hollywood on June 18, 2009)

*EVER A FRIEND (claimed for $62,500 on December 6, 2007, won the $80,000 Impressive Luck Handicap at Santa Anita on December 31, 2007 and the Grade 1 Frank E. Kilroe Handicap at Santa Anita on March 1, 2008)

*KILDERRY (claimed for $100,000 on April 4, 2008, won a division of the $80,000 Oceanside Stakes at Del Mar on July 16, 2008)

*CAMP VICTORY (claimed for $40,000 on February 13, 2011, placed first via disqualification in the Grade 3 Los Angeles Handicap at Hollywood on May 30, 2011)

*CHURCH SERVICE (claimed for $50,000 on January 20, 2008, won the Grade 3 Dallas Turf Cup Handicap at Lone Star on May 26, 2008)

*ON THE ACORN (claimed for $40,000 at Hollywood on November 25, 2006, won the Grade 2 San Juan Capistrano Handicap on April 22, 2007 and the 2007-2008 runnings of the Grade 2 Jim Murray Memorial Handicap)

*SUN BOAT (claimed for $50,000 on April 12, 2007, won the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap at Del Mar on July 21, 2007)

*SYMPHONY SID (claimed for $50,000 on July 19, 2006, won the Grade 3 Carleton F. Burke Handicap at Oak Tree on October 21, 2006)

*TAP IT LIGHT (claimed for $40,000 on August 18, 2008, own the Grade 3 Tokyo City Handicap at Santa Anita on March 27, 2010

***

Here are the top 25 Winning Beyer Speed Figures from last week's races (9/19/11 - 9/25/11):

1.  ROYAL CURRIER - 107 - Gallant Bob Stakes - 6 Furlongs - Parx
2.  ASSOCIATE - 105 - Clm 35000N2L - 7 Furlongs - Belmont
3.  TO HONOR AND SERVE - 103 - Pennsylvania Derby (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles - Parx
4.  ATTICUS JACK - 100 - Ralph M. Hinds Handicap - 1 1/8 Miles - Fairplex
4.  SHUDACUDAWUDYA - 100 - Alw 41180NC - 6 Furlongs (Tapeta) - Golden Gate
6.  POMEROYS PISTOL - 99 - Gallant Bloom Handicap (G2) - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Belmont
7.  BULL DOZER - 97 - OC 25k/N2X -N - 6 Furlongs - Calder
7.  CARBONITE - 97 - Governor's Cup Handicap - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Fairplex
7.  ROMAN TREASURE - 97 - Positive Gal Stakes - 6 Furlongs - Belmont
10. BESSIE M - 95 - Dolly Jo Stakes - 6 Furlongs - Calder
10. SWORD TRICK - 95 - My Dandy Texas Stallion Stakes - 6 Furlongs - Retama
12. QUIET AGAIN - 94 - New Mexico State Fair Handicap - 1 1/8 Miles - Albuquerque
13. DR DISCO - 93 - Alw 52960N1X - 6 Furlongs - Belmont
13. I'M STEPPIN' IT UP - 93 - Kent Stakes - 1 1/8 Miles - Delaware
13. SUPER CHUNKY - 93 - OC 40k/C -N - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Laurel
13. UNBRIDLED KIMANCHI - 93 - Md Sp Wt 58k - 1 1/16 Miles (Polytrack) - Woodbine
17. BIG SCRAPE - 92 - OC 35k/N1X - 1 Mile - Retama
17. CHALULA ONE - 92 - Bangles and Beads Stakes - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Fairplex
17. CECILSLUCKYMISTAKE - 92 - Alw 5000s - 5 1/2 Furlongs - Mountaineer
20. FUTURE PROSPECT - 92 - Kentucky Cup Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles (Polytrack) - Turfway
20. GUNFIGHTER - 91 - Roanoke Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - Parx
20. MR. MISCHIEF - 91 - Alw 48031N1X - 1 Mile (Turf) - Arlington
23. ARTIC FERN - 90 - King Corrie Stakes - 6 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Woodbine
23. BOOTS AHEAD - 90 - Third Martini Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Belmont
23. CLOSE ALLY - 90 - OC 50k/N2X -N - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Belmont
23. GREAT WARRIOR (Brz) - 90 - Pomona Derby - 1 1/16 Miles - Fairplex
23. MASON'S PEGASUS - 90 - Alw 28600N2X - 6 Furlongs - Zia
23. ROSEMOUNT LAD - 90 - Alw 32240N1X - 6 Furlongs (Tapeta) - Golden Gate
23. SMART STING - 90 - Selene Stakes (G3-C) - 1 1/16 Miles (Polytrack) - Woodbine
23. WOWIE MAUI - 90 - Alw 15000s - 1 Mile - Emerald

ROYAL CURRIER'S lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.

***

One of our bloggers recently asked about the upcoming purse structure at NYRA for 2012.  On Saturday, NYRA released a statement trumpeting a 36% purse hike for the Aqueduct Winter/Spring Meet that begins on January 1. 

"The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) has announced that total purses for the 2012 winter/spring meet at Aqueduct Racetrack are expected to increase by approximately $8.6 million, or 36 percent, over this year’s meet.

The new purse structure, which will go into effect on January 1, 2012, is possible due to the expected fall opening of Genting’s Resorts World New York Casino at Aqueduct. During the first year of the casino’s operations, 6.5 percent of the revenue from the Video Lottery Terminals must go to NYRA’s purse structure...The daily average purse structure for the 2012 Aqueduct winter/spring meet will increase to approximately $375,000 per day, $100,000 more than the approximately $275,000 that was distributed per day during this year’s meet...While every race category will see purse increases for the 2012 Aqueduct winter/spring meet, there will be different increases depending on the distance, with route races having larger purses.

Under the new purse structure, the highest overnight purses will be overnight stakes, which will have a purse of $80,000 for routes and $75,000 for sprints, up from $60,000 during this year’s Aqueduct winter/spring meet.

A few more examples of the purse increases are as follows:

Allowance n2x - $69,000 for routes, $64,000 for sprints, up from $47,000 and $46,000
Allowance n2x (New York-breds) - $59,000 for routes, $54,000 for sprints, up from $43,000 and $42,000
Allowance n1x - $67,000 for routes, $62,000 for sprints, up from $45,000 and $44,000
Allowance n1x (New York-breds) - $57,000 for routes, $52,000 for sprints, up from $41,000 and $40,000
Maiden Special Weight - $65,000 for routes, $60,000 for sprints, up from $43,000 and $42,000
Maiden Special Weight (New York-breds) - $55,000 for routes, $50,000 for sprints, up from $39,000 and $38,000
10k Claiming - $31,000 for routes, $30,000 for sprints, up from $21,000 and $20,000"

***

Dan
Am I reading these things right?
In the PP's I downloaded for the HG (Belmont Race 8 on 9/22/2011) it shows #11 Lady on the Run as the winner at Belmont of races on 8 May and 23 June 2011 and the place horse on 5 June. The box in the upper right corner seems to indicate that the 11 has run twice at BEL and won both times. No place finish shown.
When I looked at the 9 horse, Myrtle's Gray, I see that the PP shows her as the winner at BEL two back on 15 July 2011. The box in the upper right seems to indicate she has never run at BEL.
If I don't know how to read the form, I would not be entirely surprised. If I do, then DRF has some work to do. 
Ned Daly

The second-place finish on June 5 occurred on grass.  The 2-2 record in the career box indicated Lady On the Run's lifetime record on the Belmont main track, the surface on which the HG race was conducted.

***

Dan,
Are you not coming to WO this year? I don't see your name in the seminar schedule. If this is so, I'm very disappointed.
knm

I haven't been contacted for a Woodbine appearance this year.  Maybe in 2012...?

***

Dan
I was looking at the card at Parx tonight due to the PA Derby Saturday and saw a wager listed as 1st leg 123. I have never heard of this wager and was unable to find anything about it on the Parx website. Any insight from you or a Parx player.
mpm101

Here's what I found about the 123 wager from Parx.

http://www.123racing.info/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3&Itemid=4

***

Saltamontes had blinkers on? where is that designated on the PPs? first time blinks always a consideration especially on a speed horse who goofed at DRF on this one? Dan?
MH01

This was a very confusing situation.  She didn't have blinkers listed in the past performances and I didn't read about a late switch on the NYRA site when I posted the changes on my HandiGambling post.  Apparently, it was a late change that was noted on the in-house simulcast monitors. 

***

Dan
Do you know what the rule is for blinkers in NY? Most jurisdictions require blinker changes at time of entry and ok'd by the stewards.
RonZ

All I found from the New York State Racing and Wagering Board website was this rule:

"4033.8. Equipment regulated.
Only equipment specifically approved by the stewards shall be worn or carried by a jockey or a horse in a race."

Since no time frame is given, I'm assuming there's nothing against the rules for a late change.

***

*Anyone know what happened to Shakespeare's Brew and Laetes?  Both were impressive turf winners by Shakespeare at Woodbine but disappeared from the work tab after their races? 

*I e-mailed formulator help twice last week asking if tablets could run formulator pp's and still haven't heard back. Very frustrating as these devices are extremely popular now.
joey a

According to trainer Roger Attfield, Laertes suffered a minor injury and has been taken out of training for the time being.  I haven't heard anything about Shakespeare's Brew.  I sent your request again to Customer Service.  Hopefully, they'll get back to you soon.

***

Dan,
I'm afraid it is up to DRF. Please give us live video of BP on Saturday. Pretty please. :)
Annie

We won't be showing Belmont this weekend, but our live streaming lineup is still pretty exciting.  On Saturday and Sunday, we'll have video of the races from Longchamp and Santa Anita.  On Saturday, we'll show the Hoosier Park feed on Indiana Derby afternoon.  On Sunday, we'll also show Hastings with a special Pick 4.  You can watch coverage of Belmont's races on ESPN Classic.

***

Sherriff Dan nice pick on Pomeroys Pistol she won with much to spare what next for her?
mh01

After the Gallant Bloom, trainer Terri Pompay mentioned that Pomeroys Pistol will train up to the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint.

***

This week's HandiGambling exercise is the fourth race at Remington Park on Wednesday. 

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 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.

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RoyalCurrier.pdf61.88 KB
HG252.pdf176.02 KB