02/02/2017 3:05PM

Imperative nips Stanford

Imperative has always been a useful horse, a blue-collar runner that shows up time and time again to pick up nice checks for his connections.
Imperative's problems have been two-fold:
1. He's a Grade 2-level performer that has mostly competed in the Southern California handicap division. That means that, more often that not, Imperative was up against the likes of Shared Belief, California Chrome, Game On Dude and Bayern. While a talented hard-hitter, he's just not as good as those runners.
2. He's a late-runner and that style hasn't been enhanced by the speed-friendly nature of the Southern California racetracks.
Last Saturday, Imperative didn't have to deal with any bears and he caught a slightly-deeper surface at Gulfstream Park. The result was a game victory over favored Stanford in the $400,000 Poseidon Handicap at nine furlongs. 
It's been a long and winding road for Imperative, a 7-year-old gelded son of Bernardini. Once a $325,000 yearling purchase by Darley, Imperative was claimed for $50,000 by trainer George Papaprodromou after several nondescript efforts on turf and synthetic tracks. 
Papaprodromou eventually switched Imperative back to dirt, added blinkers, and the horse responded with a runner-up effort at 26 to 1 in the 2014 San Antonio Stakes. That season, Imperative upset the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic, and finished third in two Grade 1 races, the Gold Cup at Santa Anita and the Pacific Classic at Del Mar. 
After placing second in the 2015 Charles Town Classic, Imperative was turned over to trainer Richard Baltas. For the new barn, Imperative placed in three graded races before being privately-purchased by J K Racing. Imperative won the $89,000 Big Bear Stakes for J K before being sold again, this time to Loooch Stables and Imaginary Stables. 
That partnership was looking for a Pegasus World Cup backup plan in the event their preferred entrant, War Story, was sidelined in the weeks leading up to the race. With War Story fit and ready to go (he would finish fifth behind Arrogate), Imperative was offered to several owners with open berths in the Pegasus. There were no takers. 
Instead, Imperative ran in the Poseidon and overcame a wide trip and an early move to just pip Stanford on the wire. He received a 103 Beyer, the eighth triple-digit speed figure of his career. 
Now trained by Bob Hess Jr., Imperative's major short-term goal is this year's Charles Town Classic. He absolutely adores that track, is in sizzling form, and must be considered in that race. If his connections decide on an East Coast campaign, he can make some noise.
...Side question for Mr Illman: in the PPs, why do some ungraded stakes have a capital B in the title and some do not?   For instance,  War Story raced in the TrPDerbyB79k, whereas Semper Fortis raced in the ZiaPrkDby200k.  Thanks
The "B" indicates a "Black Type" stakes race. An "L" in the past performances shows that the race was "Listed."
Monster win by Arrogate is interesting.  Can you post the PP's of the last 15 Travers winners, want to compare to Triple Crown Runners.   Thanks
Those past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.
For free video analysis of some of the weekend's major stakes races, take a look at http://video.drf.com/
Also, Mike Beer, Matt Bernier and I will be on for free and fun handicapping analysis at 3pm ET on Saturday for DRF Live!. This week, we'll discuss Aqueduct, Gulfstream and Santa Anita. You can find us at live.drf.com.
You can check me out on Twitter @DRF_Dan Illman.
For up-to-date video releases from DRF, follow DRFTV @Drfvideo.
Once again, Laura has been kind enough to plan our annual FormBlogger's convention! Here are the details. 
The 6th (or is it 7th) annual Formblogger’s Convention is slated for March 10 – 12 at Gulfstream Park.  
Special room rates at the Hampton Inn will be available & I offer shuttle service to/from Ft. Lauderdale International Airport, which is roughly a 20 min. drive. Sometimes 15 min. if I run the red lights.  I haven’t lost anyone or had an accident…yet.
As usual, our generous benefactor Mike Nyman will comp us a private suite overlooking the track. As usual, there will be laughter, serious discussions, catching up with old friends, not so old friends, and newcomers.  
Bets will be made, won and lost. Indecision, high fives, tears,whining and red boarding may be a part of the process. As usual, the betting machine will malfunction at least once.
As usual, our Fearless Leader Dan Who will join us and quietly cash in on a huge bet. He will also receive risqué blue undergarments suitable for either male or female. 
As usual, a race will be named in our honor & we’ll visit the paddock before the race and have a photo taken in the winner’s circle afterward. 
If you’d like to be a part of the mayhem, please contact Laura at lross@imtbreds.com 
Updates will be posted as the date draws near.
Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 1/25/17 to 1/31/17:
1. ARROGATE - 119 - Peagasus World Cup Invitational (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles - 28Jan17-12GP 
2. IMPERATIVE - 103 - Poseidon Handicap - 1 1/8 Miles - 28Jan17-5GP 
3. POWER ALERT (AUS) - 101 - Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - 28Jan17-9GP 
4. ASHLEYLUVSSUGAR - 100 - California Cup Turf Classic - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 28Jan17-7SA 
4. STORMY LIBERAL - 100 - Clocker's Corner Stakes - About 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - 29Jan17-9SA 
4. TAGHLEEB - 100 - W. L. McKnight Handicap (G3) - 1 1/2 Miles (Turf) - 28Jan17-11GP 
7. RICHARD'S BOY - 98 - California Cup Sprint - 6 Furlongs - 28Jan17-6SA 
8. BASS RIVER ROAD - 97 - OC 40k/N2X - 6 Furlongs (Inner Dirt) - 28Jan17-8AQU
9. BIGGER PICTURE - 96 - John B. Connally Stakes (G3) - 1 1/2 Miles (Turf) - 29Jan17-8HOU
10. CRONINTHEBARBARIAN - 95 - Alw 41000N3L - 7 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - 25Jan17-9GP 
10. MR PALMER - 95 - Clm 32500(50-30)N1X - 1 1/16 Miles (Inner Dirt) - 27Jan17-1AQU
10. RIVER ECHO (GB) - 95 - OC 40k/N1X -N - 1 Mile - 28Jan17-8SA 
10. SUFFUSED (GB) - 95 - La Prevoyante Handicap (G3) - 1 1/2 Miles (Turf) - 28Jan17-10GP 
10. TAKETOTHESTREETS - 95 - OC 15k/N1X -N - 1 1/16 Miles - 27Jan17-5OP 
15. FRITZ JOHANSEN - 94 - Clm 45000(50-45) - 1 Mile (Turf) - 29Jan17-7SA 
15. GREENPOINTCRUSADER - 94 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 Mile - 27Jan17-10GP 
15. WATERSHED - 94 - OC 62k/C -N - 1 1/16 Miles - 29Jan17-10GP 
18. CURLIN'S APPROVAL - 93 - Hurricane Bertie Stakes (G3) - 7 Furlongs - 28Jan17-3GP 
18. FAST AND FOXY - 93 - Alw 38280NC - 6 Furlongs (Tapeta) - 29Jan17-2GG 
18. PRETTY PERFRECTION - 93 - Ladies' Turf Sprint - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - 28Jan17-7GP 
18. SPECIAL OPS - 93 - OC 40k/N2X -N - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 29Jan17-7FG 
18. UNBRIDLED MO - 93 - Houston Ladies' Classic (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles - 29Jan17-9HOU
23. MALIBU HIGH - 92 - Alw 10000s - 6 Furlongs - 30Jan17-8PRX
23. PARTLY MOCHA - 92 - Frontier Utilities Turf Sprint - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - 29Jan17-6HOU
23. SHALAKO - 92 - OC 32k/N2X -N - 1 1/16 Miles - 29Jan17-8LRL
*Arrogate's lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.
Congrats to Pig Bodine for winning the most recent HandiGambling challenge.
Rick M and SR VEGAS' HG scoreboard spreadsheet is available at the bottom of this blog post. 
Pig Bodine selected Saturday's Holy Bull Stakes from Gulfstream, as this week's exercise.
SR Vegas and Rick M. have graciously decided to update all of the HG rules in order to make them an easier read for everyone...
HANDIGAMBLING version 2016:
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 SPARE A SENTENCE OR TWO outlining your HANDICAPPING ANGLES and/or THOUGHT PROCESSES about WAGERING.
1. Start your post with HG or HANDIGAMBLING to find your entry in a thread.
2. You have a mythical $100 to wager in whatever format you choose that is available for that HG race. Anyone going over the $100 limit will be DISQUALIFIED.
3. Post your WAGER and ANALYSIS to the blog prior to the start of the designated race. SIGN OFF WITH YOUR NAME/OR MONIKER AT THE END OF YOUR 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 identify who you are.
4. (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.
5. Separate your analysis from the wager and use the PROGRAM # in your wager. Just like you would do in a real wager. No horse names.
6. If any of the rules listed above aren't met, the wager is subject to review which can lead to disqualification of your entry.
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 2016
The speed in this race are #1 Alpha, #2 Beta, and #8 Ocho. I like the works for layoff horse #5 Cinco who can sit off the pace. Lots of speed in here, so this could set up for a closer like  #6 Six Flags and I like the trainer's stats in these conditions. I’ll put the closer over the speed.
HG wager:
$10 EX   6 /   1,2,5, 8  = $40
$5 TRI   6 /   1,2,5,8  /  1,2,5,8  =  $60
Total $100
Thanks Dan!


Travers winners.pdf915.5 KB
ARROGATE.pdf686.86 KB
Copy of HG 1 28 17 Pegasus World Cup.xls49 KB