11/04/2015 5:01PM

Horse of the Year!

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Give a good horse an easy lead and, more often than not, you'll find that horse in the winner's circle. Give American Pharoah an easy lead and, well, you get what we saw last Saturday afternoon at Keeneland.

AMERICAN PHAROAH closed out his brilliant career with a 120-Beyer romp in last Saturday's Breeders' Cup Classic.

Forget the rest.

In the weeks leading up to the Classic, American Pharoah stamped himself as the horse to beat in America's richest race. All reports had the Triple Crown winner in fine fettle and working up a storm. After his upset defeat at the hooves of Classic contender KEEN ICE in the Travers Stakes, this was refreshing news for American Pharoah's legion of fans, supporters that drove the Triple Crown winner's price down to a deserving 7 to 10 at Classic post time.

It wasn't as if American Pharoah needed much help, but the early Classic-week defections of supermare BEHOLDER and the up-and-coming SMOOTH ROLLER severely affected the race's pace scenario. That left Victor Espinoza and American Pharoah alone on the lead with a bunch of midpack runners and closers on the chase.

It seemed like a foregone conclusion and American Pharoah didn't disappoint. He broke running, carved out easy fractions of 23.99, 47.50 and 1:11.21, and began to lengthen his stride on the far turn.

"On the backside, the path I was in was a little deep, so I decided to move out and he accelerated a little," Espinoza told reporters after the Classic."

Multiple Grade 1 winner TONALIST and Grade 1 winner FROSTED, two of the horses tracking American Pharoah, were soon off the bridle and running in quicksand. Late-kickers HONOR CODE and KEEN ICE had spotted American Pharoah an insurmountable lead and couldn't make up the necessary ground. European invader GLENEAGLES seemed flummoxed by the dirt surface and never got involved. That left the plucky New York-bred EFFINEX, who had inherited the role of stalker. Under Mike Smith, Effinex relaxed in second without putting too much heat on American Pharoah.

"Turning for home, I knew I was gone," said Espinoza.

Effinex tried to go with the favorite turning into the stretch, but didn't class up. American Pharoah was asked to run for the final furlong of his career and he streaked under the wire a 6 1/2-length winner of a game Effinex. American Pharoah polished off his last quarter-mile in 24.60 to complete the 1 1/4-miles in 2:00.07.


American Pharoah retires to Ashford Stud in Kentucky, a subsidiary of the vast Coolmore breeding operation. He's already been reportedly booked to such stalwart mares as Grade 1 winner Awesome Maria, Ivanavinalot (dam of undefeated Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Songbird), 2014 Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf heroine Judy the Beauty, Refugee (dam of Grade 1 winners Hoppertunity and Executiveprivilege), Storm Dixie (dam of four-time Grade 1 winner Princess of Sylmar), Take Charge Lady (dam of Grade 1 winners Take Charge Indy and Will Take Charge) and Untouched Talent (dam of Grade 1 winner Bodemeister).

He ticks all the boxes for history's sake. 

A multiple Grade 1 winner at two? Check.

Triple Crown winner? Check.

Breeders' Cup Classic winner? Check.

120+-Beyer club? Check.

Soon, he'll be named Horse of the Year and Champion 3-year-old colt. We'll miss him.

xxx

Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 10/27/15 - 11/2/15:

1. AMERICAN PHAROAH - 120 - Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) - 1 1/4 Miles - 31Oct15-11KEE
2. LIAM'S MAP - 114 - Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1) - 1 Mile - 30Oct15-7KEE
3. RUNHAPPY - 108 - Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) - 6 Furlongs - 31Oct15-7KEE
3. TEPIN - 108 - Breeders' Cup Mile (G1) - 1 Mile (Turf) - 31Oct15-8KEE
5. FOUND (IRE) - 107 - Breeders' Cup Turf (G1) - 1 1/2 Miles (Turf) - 31Oct15-10KEE
6. MATROOH - 105 - Bold Ruler Handicap (G3) - 7 Furlongs - 31Oct15-4BEL
6. RACE DAY - 105 - Fayette Stakes (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles - 30Oct15-5KEE
8. MONGOLIAN SATURDAY - 104 - Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (G1) - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - 31Oct15-4KEE
8. STEPHANIE'S KITTEN - 104 - Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1) - 1 3/16 Miles (Turf) - 31Oct15-6KEE
10. STORMIN MONARCHO - 103 - OC 100k/C - 1 Mile - 28Oct15-8BEL
11. LADY SABELIA - 101 - Pumkin Pie Stakes - 6 Furlongs - 1Nov15-7BEL
12. BAL A BALI (BRZ) - 100 - OC 80k/C -N - 1 Mile (Turf) - 30Oct15-8DMR
13. SONGBIRD - 99 - Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) - 1 1/16 Miles - 31Oct15-3KEE
14. STOPCHARGINGMARIA - 98 - Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles - 30Oct15-9KEE
15. CARINA MIA - 97 - Md Sp Wt 56k - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 29Oct15-5KEE
16. MATT KING COAL - 96 - Md Sp Wt 75k - 1 Mile - 29Oct15-6BEL
17. FILIMBI - 95 - OC 100k/C -N - 1 Mile (Turf) - 1Nov15-3BEL
17. BAILOUTBOBBY - 95 - Marathon Stakes (G2) - 1 3/4 Miles - 30Oct15-10KEE
17. OH BABY OH BABY - 95 - OC 15k/N1X -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 28Oct15-10DED
17. WAVELL AVENUE - 95 - Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) - 7 Furlongs - 31Oct15-5KEE
21. AMERICA - 93 - Turnback the Alarm Handicap (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles - 30Oct15-8BEL
21. GOODOLDHOCKEYGAME - 93 - Alw 117420NC - 6 Furlongs (Polytrack) - 31Oct15-9WO
21. UZZIEL - 93 - Goldikova Stakes (G2) - 1 Mile (Turf) - 1Nov15-7DMR
24. CATHRYN SOPHIA - 92 - Md Sp Wt 52k - 6 Furlongs - 30Oct15-5PRX
24. FLIPCUP - 92 - Maple Leaf Stakes (G3-C) - 1 1/4 Miles (Polytrack) - 31Oct15-8WO
24. HOT CITY GIRL - 92 - OC 62k/C -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 29Oct15-8BEL
24. HOUSE OF SOLE - 92 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 7 Furlongs - 29Oct15-6KEE
24. INDYCOTT - 92 - Alw 35000s - 1 1/8 Miles - 1Nov15-8LRL
24. JUST CALL KENNY - 92 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 1/16 Miles - 31Oct15-2BEL
24. PABLO DEL MONTE - 92 - OC c-80k/N3X - 6 Furlongs - 30Oct15-1KEE
24. ROCKINN ON BYE - 92 - Alw 16000s - 7 Furlongs - 1Nov15-3LRL
24. TWEET KITTEN - 92 - Bryan Station Stakes - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 30Oct15-4KEE

*American Pharoah's lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.

*Pablo Del Monte was claimed for $80,000 by trainer David Jacobson from Wesley Ward.

***

Video stakes analyses for many of the weekend's major stakes will be available later this week at http://www.drf.com/videos

You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman.

I'll be with Mike Beer and Matt Bernier for live coverage of racing at Aqueduct, Del Mar, Gulfstream West, etc. beginning at 3pm ET at live.drf.com.

***

Congrats to Tyren for finishing first in the most recent HandiGambling event.

We'll go with the Long Island from Aqueduct for this week's exercise.

PAST PERFORMANCES ARE AVAILABLE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS BLOG POST.

SR Vegas and Rick M. have graciously decided to streamline all of the HG rules in order to make them an easier read for everyone...

With so many new people attending Dan's Formblog we thought it would be a good time to update the Handigambling Guidelines and Rules as we go forward in 2014.

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. We are 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.

HANDIGAMBLING:

Please start your post with  HG or HANDIGAMBLING to better recognize and find your entry.

-  You have a mythical $100 to wager in whatever format you choose and that is available for that HG race.
Anyone going over the $100 limit will be disqualified.

- Post your WAGER and ANALYSIS to the blog WITH YOUR NAME/OR MONIKER AT THE END OF THE POST.  Remember that posts may start as 'anonymous' or an 'alternate name'. You MUST sign yourself at the end (even if it is the same) This enables the scorekeeper to recognize you .

- (1) ONE ENTRY per person for the Handigambling contest. If you have multiple email addresses, use just ONE for contest purposes.  Multiple entries will be cause for disqualification.

- Separate your analysis from the wager and use the horses # in your wager. Just like you would do in a real wager. No horse names.

-In the event of a tie, the earliest post gets first preference. Dan reserves the right to approve or deny any entries.

- The winner will receive a "60-Card Quarterly Formulator Past Performance Plan"

As an example :

HG 2014
The speed in this race goes to  horses # 1, 4 ,6 ..Ennie , Meenie, and Mo
Since it's a sprint I don't see any closers catching them.. like # 9 Miney.
I think trainer Groucho with the #6 Mo has the best stats in this condition, route to sprint.. just a gut feeling at large odds ML 20-1

HG wager
50$ Ex box 1-6
total $100

Thanks Dan!

Harpo
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A MORE DETAILED ANALYSIS IS ALWAYS APPRECIATED !
 
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 LATER THAN THE FOLLOWING WEDNESDAY MORNING (A SATURDAY RACE IS MOST IDEAL)

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AMERICAN PHAROAH.pdf612.78 KB
Copy of Formblog BC Classic 10-31-15.xls17.29 KB
HGLONGISLAND.pdf209 KB