06/08/2011 6:14PM

Hot Sprint Division, Top Beyers


After a few days of reflection, here are some thoughts on last week's racing action:

*TWIRLING CANDY may be the most naturally talented horse in a handicap division that is begging for a leader.  Although he fought his rider for over half the Grade 2 Californian Stakes at Hollywood, Twirling Candy still came with an eye-opening late run to win with something in reserve.  True, he didn't face the strongest field in the Californian, but one must wonder how good Twirling Candy could be if he learned to harness his energy in the early portion of his races. 
The Hollywood Gold Cup may be next on his dance card, but handicappers searching for value may do well to look elsewhere.  Twirling Candy can be his own worst enemy.  If he starts sparring with his rider going into the first turn of the 10-furlong Gold Cup against, possibly, better competition, he may be winded in the stretch.   

*I'm not sure if we learned anything new about HILDA'S PASSION after she dominated a weak group in the Grade 2 Vagrancy Handicap at Belmont Park.  We already figured out that she's quick from the gate and can put up fast numbers when loose on the lead.  She's a talented and speedy distaff sprinter, but what will happen when someone inevitably looks her in the eye after two furlongs?  Stay tuned.

*Last week, I mentioned several Bob Baffert-trained 3-year-olds that had done some nice things in Southern California.  Add ALIENATION to the list after the filly dusted off entry-level allowance runners by open lengths with a 101 Beyer.  A runner-up in the Grade 2 Adirondack in her second start at two, Alienation was making her three-year-old debut last week and looks like a sprinter/miler with some ability. 

*Although it wasn't Sunday Silence against the big chestnut in the Preakness, FRIEND OR FOE and RAIL TRIP put on quite a show in the Easy Goer Stakes going a one-turn route at Belmont.  A strapping New York-bred, Friend Or Foe looks and acts like he can successfully stretch out against better competition. 
As for Rail Trip, it was good to see the 2009 Hollywood Gold Cup winner back on his best game.  Plagued by foot problems for most of his career, Rail Trip, making his first start since last fall's Jockey Club Gold Cup, cut out solid fractions only to be headed on the wire.  If, and that's a big if considering his medical history, Rail Trip stays in one piece, he can make his presence felt in the handicap ranks.

*I don't know where it came from, but SEAN AVERY ran a hole in the wind in the Longfellow Stakes at Monmouth.  Rated off the speed and taken to the outside on the backstretch by Joe Bravo, Sean Avery assumed the lead with total command turning for home and drew away en route to a 112 Beyer Speed Figure.  Sean Avery has missed a ton of time throughout his career with injuries, but he's now raced three times in a row without a layoff line.  Perhaps we've found another top sprinter in a deep division. 

Consider these high-octane Beyer Speed Figures from the following sprinters in 2011 (6-7.5 furlongs):

Big Drama - 120
Maclean's Music - 114
Apriorty - 113
Sean Avery - 112
Custom for Carlos - 109
Hilda's Passion - 109, 108
Amazombie - 108, 108
Calibrachoa - 107
Euroears - 107
Camp Victory - 107

Sprinkle in a little Aikenite, Noble's Promise, Morning Line, Smiling Tiger, and This Ones for Phil and it should be a very hot summer among the shorter-distance runners.


Here are the top 25 winning Beyer Speed Figures from last week's races (5/30 - 6/5):

1.  TIZWAY - 113 - Metropolitan Handicap (G1) - 1 Mile - Belmont
2.  SEAN AVERY - 112 - Longfellow Stakes - 6 Furlongs - Monmouth
3.  HUMBLE SMARTY - 110 - Honor the Hero Turf Express Stakes - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - Canterbury
4.  HILDA'S PASSION - 108 - Vagrancy Handicap (G2) - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Belmont
5.  CAMP VICTORY - 107 - Los Angeles Handicap (G3) - 6 Furlongs (Cushion Track) - Hollywood
6.  WIREDFORTWOTWENTY - 106 - Prairie Express Stakes - 6 Furlongs - Prairie Meadows
7.  FRIEND OR FOE - 104 - Easy Goer Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - Belmont
8.  PONZI SCHEME - 103 - Skip Away Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - Monmouth
9.  MOTOVATO - 102 - Memorial Day Handicap - 1 1/16 Miles - Calder
10. ALIENATION - 101 - Alw 54584N1X - 6 Furlongs (Cushion Track) - Hollywood
10. AWESOME GEM - 101 - Lone Star Park Handicap (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles - Lone Star
10. NOBLE'S PROMISE - 101 - Aristides Stakes (G3) - 6 Furlongs - Churchill Downs
13. TWIRLING CANDY - 100 - Californian Stakes (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles (Cushion Track) - Hollywood
14. WASTED TEARS - 99 - Ouija Board Stakes (G3) - 1 Mile (Turf) - Lone Star
15. DAHOUD (NZ) - 97 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Hollywood
15. PARENT'S HONOR - 97 - OC 50k/N1X - 6 Furlongs - Delaware
15. SASSY IMAGE - 97 - Winning Colors Stakes (G3) - 6 Furlongs - Churchill Downs
18. DIVINE MUSIC - 96 - Alw 16320N3L - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Fort Erie
18. QUIET AGAIN - 96 - Free Spirit Handicap - 6 Furlongs - Ruidoso
18. RAHY'S ATTORNEY - 96 - Alw 86726NC - 1 3/8 Miles (Turf) - Woodbine
21. ABDEL'S GHOST - 95 - Alw 10000s - 6 Furlongs - Calder
21. ACHAK (Ire) - 95 - Clm 32000(32-28) - 1 1/16 Miles (Cushion Track) - Hollywood
21. CREW LEADER - 95 - OC 50k/N$Y -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Hastings
21. SMOKEY LONESOME - 95 - OC 80k/C -N - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Hollywood
21. WARNING SONG - 95 - Alw 53200N1X - 7 1/2 Furlongs (Cushion Track) - Hollywood

Tizway's past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.

For a closer look at some of last week's major stakes races, please click on the following link:



Great discussion involving favorite races. Probably because I attended it, the 1976 Marlboro (the good old days when races were sponsored by cigarettes) was my favorite. Those who haven't seen it, do yourself a favor and YouTube it. Big Joe, to those who followed him was Forego's nickname and as usual he close like a freight train wide with a lot of weight on him. Dan would you please provide Forego's PPs? It's great to see what real handicap racing was by viewing the weight he always was asked to carry.
Bill M

Forego's past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.  Forego won the Brooklyn Handicap three consecutive years.  This year's Brooklyn will take place on Friday afternoon at Belmont.  There are no Foregos entered.


What happened to Fusao Sekiguchi? Did he just leave the horse racing business after Fusaichi Pegasus?

I believe that Mr. Sekiguchi is still a player on the Japanese racing scene.  He hasn't started a runner in the United States since 2007.


Hi Dan,
When you have a chance could you tell me a little about an unraced 2yo colt named Prince Liam who is working out at CRC ? I saw that he is sired by After Market who is one of the sires that you are watching.
Thanks for all your hard work.

Prince Liam, foaled on April 1, 2009, was bred by Donald Dizney in Florida.  The gray was withdrawn from last year's Keeneland September yearling auction. 

The dam, Good Intentions (by Anet), won the Franks Juvenile Fillies Turf going 1 1/16 miles on grass.  She also won at 5 1/2 furlongs on the dirt.  This is the female family of Wekiva Springs, who won the Grade 1 Suburban Handicap and Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Handicap.

I'm not 100% sure, but I believe Prince Liam is trained by David Fawkes.  A couple of his workouts match up with a Fawkes-trained juvenile named Flying Aptitude, a colt that finished third in his debut at Calder on June 5 with a 34 Beyer. 

Prince Liam may be best-suited to grass racing down the road. 


LSD can we see the PPs for King Glorious ? The greatest horse nobody ever heard of. I think Vicstu will like them

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


Dan, can u help me find out the average beyer for a 25000 Claimer, allowance, graded stakes and so on? thanks

I'll refer you to the Simulcast Daily section of our homepage. 


Here's a sample of what you would receive with a subscription.



Hildas paternal grandma{Borodislew-Daughter of Slew}{who dropped a Smarty Jones Colt}, I unfortunately came upon the fact that Borodislew was euthanized in 2008 @18, for you guessed it.....Colic.........For all the speed & stamina he produced, he sure did pass on the big bad Colic disease often......This comment was in conjunction w/my last question about the same........
Curt V.

I don't know if Seattle Slew passed on a "colic" gene, but I do know that his sire also died from colic.  It could simply be coincidence that some of his progeny have died from colic-related illnesses.  I really don't know for sure.


Some questions.
1. Today, Saturday, Hollywood 5th race, #2, Rock Solid Charm, +clm$25,000. What is the plus sign in front of the claiming price? I saw a plus mdn race at Monmouth also.
2. Is there a mark for the horses that are exempt from claiming in California first race back after a 6 month layoff?
3. My HG horse scratched today and got me to thinking. Let's assume the race had stayed on the grass. My horse was a first time starter, the 10, Astro Ruler. If this was a circuit you followed, and you liked this horse, would you put that horse on your watch list? Would you try to find out why he scratched? What might you think of him when he is reentered?

1.  I believe the plus sign refers to the turf chute.

2.  The sign for a waiver claimer would be listed like this in the past performance (i.e. Clm 20000 (20-18) - W).  The W for "waiver" would show up after the claiming price.

3.  If you like the horse, I would definitely put him on your watch list.  When he is entered again, check the scratch board for details on the scratch (vet, steward, trainer, off-turf, etc.).  It would really depend on the competition he's facing in that specific situation before I make a strong stand for or against.


HG 236:
Love 9-Elusive and here. Loved Touch Dial in that one's heydey. Not excited about H.Bull but loike other things about this one too much.
Improving beyers on 7 looks good to me
Easy play here:
$50 EX BOX 7-9
Michael D.

Congrats to Michael D. for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling exercise.  This week's race will be Saturday's Belmont Stakes. 


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.

Best of luck to all.

Tizway.pdf64.43 KB
Forego.pdf74.07 KB
King Glorious.pdf38.43 KB
HG237 (Belmont Stakes).pdf331.73 KB