02/21/2012 4:01PM

It's Baffert's World!

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Bob Baffert can do no wrong.

The white-haired Hall of Famer has won with 8 of his last 10 starters.  Since February 5, Baffert's record stands at 19-12-0-3.  That's good enough for 63% winners and $878,550 in earnings.  Bettors playing blindly on Baffert-trained runners during that stretch were rewarded with a $4.16 ROI. 

*Baffert isn't winning with any old ham-and-eggers, by the way.  He swept both divisions of the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn on Presidents' Day with CASTAWAY and SECRET CIRCLE (for the record, Baffert is 9-12, 75%, $4.91 ROI over the past five years at Oaklawn) and DRILL rebounded from five straight losses (three as the favorite) to post a nose victory in the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita. 

*ELLAFITZ, a five-year-old mare by Tiznow, fought off all challenges in taking the Grade 2 Santa Maria Stakes in gate-to-wire fashion and has now won four of her last five races dating back to July. 

*The Baffert roll began with GAME ON DUDE's popular score in the Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes, a win that cemented his status as one of the best older males in the country.

*BODEMEISTER moved onto the Triple Crown trail with a dominating 9 1/4 length maiden win at one mile on February 11.  Bodemeister earned a 99 Beyer Speed Figure. 

Here's my "Under the Radar" column on Bodemeister from February 13:

http://www.drf.com/news/kentucky-derby-2012-under-radar-bodemeister

*FED BIZ, a $950,000 yearling purchase by Giant's Causeway, made it two in a row for Baffert with a 97-Beyer victory in an entry-level optional claimer going a mile on February 9.  Fed Biz is a half-brother to stakes-winning router Spun Silk out of a stakes-winning half-sister to Grade/Group 1 winners Tale of the Cat and Minardi.  He seems destined for graded stakes and is on many Kentucky Derby "short lists." 

*Making his first start following a 199-day layoff, AWESOMEMUNDO, a 4-year-old filly by Awesome Again, whipped 'n2x' optional claimers by 7 1/2 lengths with a career-best 93 Beyer.  Awesomemundo won twice on synthetics in 2011, but the most recent race was her first outing on dirt and she may have found her niche.

*PAYNTER, a $325,000 yearling purchase at the 2010 Keeneland September auction, made a winning career debut at the 2-5 favorite in a four-horse maiden affair on February 18.  Paynter trailed early, but rallied to win by 4 1/4 lengths with a 79 Beyer.  He is by Awesome Again out of an unplaced full sister to two-time Breeders' Cup Classic hero Tiznow.  Paynter is a half-brother to Grade 3 turf winner Tiz West, stakes-winning sprinter Tizakitty and stakes-placed Tizalovelylady. 

*MIDNIGHT CROONER, a full brother to 2011 Santa Anita Derby winner MIDNIGHT INTERLUDE, won his maiden in his third lifetime attempt on February 18.  After failing twice on dirt at Santa Anita, Baffert sent Midnight Crooner north to Golden Gate and the colt responded with a 7 1/2-length win in a maiden special weight over Tapeta (88 Beyer).  Midnight Crooner may get another opportunity to shine on dirt, but may be best suited to grass down the road. 

*MAMMA KIMBO, a first-time starter by Discreet Cat out of multiple stakes-winner Bag Lady Jane (10-4-0-3, 233K in earnings), scorched six furlongs in 1:07.94 en route to a 101-Beyer win on February 18.  A $120,000 yearling purchase, Mamma Kimbo went off a tepid 6-1, surprising considering Baffert's hot few weeks. 

*PRINCESS ARABELLA, a 3-year-old filly by Any Given Saturday, made it 2 for 2 for Baffert with an entry-level allowance win at seven furlongs on February 12.  Princess Arabella equaled the 85 Beyer from her winning debut and seems destined to stretch out in stakes.  A $47,000 yearling buyback, Princess Arabella is a half-sister to stakes-winning turfer Dyna's Lassie out of a full sister to Kentucky Derby runner-up Invisible Ink.

*Looking for a horse for course?  Try ABSINTHE MINDED, the recent winner of the Bayakoa Stakes at Oaklawn Park.  Trained by Wayne Lukas, Absinthe Minded boasts a record of 9-5-2-1 at Oaklawn.  At other venues, the 5-year-old mare is 19-1-3-2.  Third behind eventual Horse of the Year Havre de Grace in both the 2011 Azeri and Apple Blossom at Oaklawn, Absinthe Minded may attempt to break a long streak of futility for Lukas-trained runners in graded stakes races (0-79 over the past two years). 

*SENIORS PRIDE's triple-digit Beyer score in a $25,000 starter handicap at Aqueduct on February 10 may have trainer Todd Pletcher looking for bigger and better down the road.  Claimed for $50,000 from David Jacobson in October, Seniors Pride will attempt to emulate CALIBRACHOA and CAIXA ELETRONICA as horses claimed by Pletcher and owner Mike Repole that went on to win graded stakes. 

Here is this week's "Under the Radar" column featuring MY ADONIS:

http://www.drf.com/news/kentucky-derby-2012-under-radar-my-adonis

*Nice to see Kentucky Derby winner ANIMAL KINGDOM get back on the beam in his first start since suffering a hind leg injury in the 2011 Belmont Stakes.  Animal Kingdom chalked up a victory on grass and the race looked like a good prep for a run in the Dubai World Cup.  Although Animal Kingdom simply outclassed his opposition at Gulfstream, he was asked to do some running by John Velazquez, racing wide off moderate splits.  Animal Kingdom got a good blow out of this race and it's quite possible he wasn't at 100% peak fitness for his first start back. 

***

Here are the top 25 Winning Beyer Speed Figures from the week of 2/6/12 - 2/12/12:

1.  HYMN BOOK - 106 - Donn Handicap (Grade 1) - 1 1/8 Miles - Gulfstream
2.  WILL'S WILDCAT - 105 - OC 80k/C -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Gulfstream
3.  SENIORS PRIDE - 100 - Hcp 25000s - 1 Mile 70 Yards (inner dirt) - Aqueduct
4.  BODEMEISTER - 99 - Md Sp Wt 57k - 1 Mile - Santa Anita
4.  FLAT BOLD - 99 - Alw 55350N$Y - 6 Furlongs - Parx
6.  FED BIZ - 97 - OC 80k/N1X -N - 1 Mile - Gulfstream
6.  GET STORMY - 97 - Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - Gulfstream
6.  MAJESTIC EXPRESS - 97 - Alw 50000s - 1 Mile - Gulfstream
9.  JOYFUL VICTORY - 95 - Tiffany Lass Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - Fair Grounds
9.  STORMY'S MAJESTY - 95 - Mr. G.J.G. Stakes - 1 Mile 70 Yards (inner dirt) - Aqueduct
11. SLIM SHADEY (GB) - 94 - San Marcos Stakes (G2) - 1 1/4 Miles (Turf) - Santa Anita
12. FEDERATION (GB) - 93 - OC 32k/N2X -N - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Tampa Bay
12. OUTTA TUNE - 93 - Alw 5000s - 6 Furlongs - Oaklawn
12. SILVER MAGNUS - 93 - OC 35k/N2X -N - 6 Furlongs - Oaklawn
12. THUNDER MOCCASIN - 93 - Hutcheson Stakes (G2) - 7 Furlongs - Gulfstream
16. CYCLOMETER - 92 - Md Sp Wt 67k - 6 Furlongs - Santa Anita
16. GREAT MILLS - 92 - Champion Energy Services Stakes - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - Sam Houston
16. SPECTACULAR SKY - 92 - OC 40k/N1X -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Santa Anita
19. CASH FOR CLUNKERS - 91 - OC 25k/N1X -N - 1 Mile 70 Yards (inner dirt) - Aqueduct
19. CONCORDE'S FLIGHT - 91 - OC 25k/N1X -N - 5 Furlongs - Gulfstream
19. JOINEM - 91 - OC 80k/N3X -N - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Gulfstream
19. OUR CHOICE - 91 - Soc 34000(15-12.5) - 5 1/2 Furlongs - Sunland
19. SNOW TOP MOUNTAIN - 91 - Suwannee River Stakes (G3) - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - Gulfstream
24. CARBONITE - 90 - Alw 64050C - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Santa Anita
24. CITY SAGE - 90 - Alw 42000NC - 6 Furlongs - Sunland
24. EL VINO - 90 - Clm 40000(40-35) - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Santa Anita
24. MALIBU KID - 90 - Hcp 35000 - 7 Furlongs - Charles Town
24. WRITINGONTHEWALL - 90 - Clm 30000(30-25)B - 1 Mile (inner dirt) - Aqueduct

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

***

Here are the top 25 Winning Beyer Speed Figures from the week of 2/13/12 - 2/19/12:

1.  FORCE FREEZE - 108 - Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship (G2) - 7 Furlongs - Gulfstream
2.  MAMMA KIMBO - 101 - Md Sp Wt 57k - 6 Furlongs - Santa Anita
3.  MARILYN'S GUY - 99 - As Indicated Stakes - 1 Mile (inner dirt) - Aqueduct
4.  JIMANATOR - 98 - John B. Campbell Handicap - 1 1/8 Miles - Laurel
4.  THIS ONES FOR PHIL - 98 - Clm 100000(100-75) - 6 Furlongs (inner dirt) - Aqueduct
6.  ABSINTHE MINDED - 97 - Bayakoa Stakes -  1 1/16 Miles - Oaklawn
6.  MAGICAL FEELING - 97 - Barbara Fritchie Handicap (G2) - 7 Furlongs - Laurel
8.  PLUTONIUM - 96 - Dust Commander Stakes - 1 Mile (polytrack) - Turfway
8.  QUICK MONEY - 96 - Alw 60760N1X - 6 Furlongs (inner dirt) - Aqueduct
10. CORPORATE JUNGLE - 95 - Alw 42500N1X - 1 Mile (Turf) - Gulfstream
10. KOAST - 95 - Md Sp Wt 57k - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Santa Anita
10. QUICK ENOUGH - 95 - Clm c-(32-30) - 6 Furlongs (Tapeta) - Golden Gate
10. TERODA - 95 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Santa Anita
14. CATINATREE - 94 - OC 35k/N2X - 6 Furlongs - Hawthorne
14. DRILL - 94 - San Vicente Stakes (G2) - 7 Furlongs - Santa Anita
14. ITALIAN RULES - OC 62k/N2X -N - 6 Furlongs (Tapeta) - Golden Gate
14. STRONG STAR - 94 - Clm c-(12.5-10.5) - 1 Mile (Tapeta) - Golden Gate
18. AWESOMEMUNDO - 93 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 1/16 Miles - Santa Anita
18. FUTURE GENERATION (Ire) - 93 - OC 100k/C -N - 1 Mile (Turf) - Gulfstream
18. R HOLIDAY MOOD - 93 - Hurricane Bertie Stakes (G3) - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Gulfstream
18. TAWAARED - 93 - Clm c-(25-20) - 7 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Gulfstream
22. ANIMAL KINGDOM - 92 - OC 80k/N3X -N - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Gulfstream
22. CHOSEN MIRACLE - 92 - OC 62k/N2X -Nc - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Santa Anita
22. DADDY NOSE BEST - 92 - El Camino Real Derby (G3) - 1 1/8 Miles (Tapeta) - Golden Gate
25. NIGHT VISION - 91 - Alw 42000N1X - 6 Furlongs - Oaklawn
25. ROMAN INVASION - 91 - Clm 25000(25-22.5)N3L - 7 1/2 Furlongs - Gulfstream
25. SIGNSEALNDELIVER - 91 - OC 35k/N2X -N - 6 Furlongs - Hawthorne
25. SIR BOND - 91 - Md Sp Wt 38k - 1 1/16 Miles - Fair Grounds

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

*QUICK ENOUGH was claimed for $32,000 by trainer Ed Moger Jr. from John Martin

*STRONG STAR was claimed for $12,500 by trainer William Morey from Martin.

*TAWAARED was claimed for $20,000 by trainer Julio Cartagena from Edward Coletti.

***

Congrats to Randy for finishing first in the most recent HandiGambling exercise.  Let's go with Friday's ninth race at Tampa Bay Downs for our next contest.  Please note that our official scorekeeper, tencentcielo, is dealing with some personal matters and may not be able to tabulate this week's results.  If you'd like to fill in and give me a hand with this week's scoring, please post to the blog. 

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 GIVE YOUR NAME OR BLOG MONIKER AT THE END OF THE HG PLAY AND/OR ANALYSIS.

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.

ONCE THE RESULTS ARE DECLARED OFFICIAL, WINNERS WILL BE ASKED TO CONTACT CSERVICE2@DRF.COM FOR INFORMATION ON HOW TO RECEIVE THEIR PRIZE PACKAGE.

Best of luck to all.

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ForceFreeze.pdf68.21 KB
HymnBook.pdf61.53 KB
HG271.pdf190.84 KB