07/02/2011 10:26AM

July 4 Weekend!!!


There's a little treat for all handicappers over this holiday weekend.

Like turf horses?  How about the United Nations at Monmouth featuring European invaders CHINCHON and STACELITA?  Not to be outdone is the Shoemaker Mile at Hollywood Park where COURAGEOUS CAT, runner-up in the 2009 Breeders' Cup Mile, continues his comeback against defending champion VICTOR'S CRY, the solid CARACORTADO, and speedy LIBERIAN FREIGHTER. 

The Handicap division has been a bit of a dud in 2011.  Perhaps a new shooter will emerge in the historic Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park. 

With the 3-year-old Males in disarray as we begin the second half of the season, the Dwyer could launch a runner or two into some of the summer's bigger stakes events. 

The Salvator Mile looks like a dogfight in the making with MORNING LINE, SOARING EMPIRE and RULE renewing acquaintances.  The survivor gets a "Win and You're In" berth for the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.  Then again, a big performance may vault the winner into some juicy Handicap pots.

How about sprinters?  The Triple Bend is shaping up as a nice race at Hollywood with SMILING TIGER and AMAZOMBIE expected to lock horns.

Even juvenile performers get an opportunity to earn some graded money (can't get enough of that with the Kentucky Derby ten months away) in races like the Futurity, Matron and Bashford Manor (the New York races better-known as 'N2L' races). 

Here are some opinions:

TRIPLE BEND HANDICAP - Hollywood Park - Race 9:

SMILING TIGER and AMAZOMBIE should prove very tough in the Triple Bend, but let's not completely ignore M ONE RIFLE, the 2009 Malibu winner at this seven-furlong distance.  M One Rifle has come to hand of late for trainer Bruce Headley, setting a new track record in the five-furlong Cool French Stakes two back (114 Beyer Speed Figure) before finishing third behind Amazombie and CAMP VICTORY in the Grade 3 Los Angeles Handicap on May 30. 
M ONE RIFLE probably wasn't going to win the Los Angeles with a clean trip, but he was bumped around pretty good in midstretch and still kept on grinding away for a minor award.  He has good speed and Chantal Sutherland may want to escape the inside post by sending the Cal-bred immediately to the front.  It will be a tall order for M One Rifle, but he's good enough on his very best day and will offer a hint of wagering value.


JERSEY SHORE - Monmouth - Race 9 (Sunday):

This six-furlong dash features the return of FLASHPOINT, the brilliant winner of the Grade 2 Hutcheson Stakes at seven furlongs during the Gulfstream meet.  After that effort, his connections came down with a case of Triple Crown fever and Flashpoint was promptly drubbed in both the Florida Derby and Preakness.  Flashpoint shows some quick workouts and will really appreciate moving back to a sprint, but there are some up-and-comers that deserve our attention as well.
PARENT'S HONOR is an interesting horse to analyze.  In his first seven race, he won twice with a career-best Beyer of 74.  Last time out, Parent's Honor freaked.  Entered for the $50,000 tag in a 'n1x' optional claimer at Delaware, Parent's Honor won off by seven lengths and received a 99 Beyer.  Did Parent's Honor simply figure the game out?  Or, is the 99 Beyer an anomaly that should be ignored on Sunday?  In these cases, the toteboard is your best friend.  If Parent's Honor is hammered in the wagering, it may be best to seek a price elsewhere.  With Flashpoint, the undefeated C J RUSSELL, Rumson winner ZERO RATE POLICY and Todd Pletcher's Cal Nation in the race, however, Parent's Honor may go off as a bettable price.  Besides, the last race was visually impressive as well.  Parent's Honor broke a half-length slow, was hustled up to track the leaders from the three path, moved four wide on the turn and blew the doors off everyone.  Yes, the pace collapsed that day, but Parent's Honor will once again receive quick fractions to attack.  Trainer Tony Dutrow has sent out nothing but live runners at Monmouth this meet. 


Some quick-and-dirty selections:


For in-depth video analyses, please click on the link below, scroll down to the second video player, and click on the name of the stakes race:



More importantly, who do you like this weekend?  I want to know.

Enjoy the holiday!


Jonah More than 1 year ago
OFF TOPIC/SOCIAL: This comment has nothing to do with horse racing, it is to a Formblog poster, about Formblog. Lacking Blackseabass's email address, if this were a forum, I would post under "Letters to Formbloggers." As DRF.com doesn't afford us that luxury, and with apologies to Dan, I'll include it here in one of Mr. Illman's dormant blog posts. If it's the kind of thing that you hate, here's your chance to bail without complaint. Dear Blackseabass, You truly are generous with me and the blog, and while you obfuscate at times, it creates an interesting challenge, and I appreciate it, seeing in you the coach or teacher who wants students (or "kids") to discover for themselves. I have great respect and admiration for teachers, coaches, and students, and for learning in general. I know I'm not alone in that. That quality is why the disdain you recently expressed toward those of us who have sought to learn from Mike A is especially confounding. You didn't answer, and you're not obliged to, but I certainly don't feel like a "clueless beggar" when I talk to him, you, Steve T, or anyone who has something to impart, or just to say, nicely or sternly, as a friend. Mike A has nothing to prove to me. Neither he nor I get anything more than a good bet if he just tosses picks my or anyone's way without our understanding the reasoning. What we really get out of talking and email is a friendly exchange about something fascinating, fun, and a little risky but very rewarding. In fact, Mike A does teach me to teach myself, he doesn't just throw some fish to grab, he goes about it mostly Socratically, asking what I think and why, then explaining in detail what he thinks. Last week, before a turf race at Belmont, he said, "There's something different about one of these. All of the others have it in common, except for one. Find it and call me in five minutes." I scanned furiously, asking myself what he would be looking for in this kind of race. I knew from his posts and from talking to him--not from picks--that I would at least have to look at the closing styles and times. I saw one that had closed well in the last, and when we talked, he said basically, "Right track, wrong horse." Then I found it: Hungry Island's closing times were head-and-shoulders-and-a-neck (and then some) ahead of the field. Then he went on for a time comparing fractions and beaten lengths for the field, and how Triune was a threat, especially since it seemed speed was holding well earlier in the card. Like a shmuck, I passed the race, and the rest is deadboarding. I don't need to beg or brown nose to listen to what someone has to say and take a few notes, and make friends along the way, and it doesn't compromise my frankness, either. I've made respectful criticisms of the content of some of Mike A's posts, as I've made of yours, and it's not to take sides, or create a smokescreen. I'm interested in horse racing, not cock fighting. As you and Mike (and Obama) have said, "Look." I like you, BSB. Now I know Mike A personally, and feel as much as a familial closeness with him in the short time since I encountered him here and in Laura's chat room, and could see that behind the occasionally harsh attitude was a good teacher and an incredibly giving, heartfelt person with a lifetime of experience inside and out of the race track. Hell, I love Michael A, I don't mind saying that, and although he doesn't like you, and it's apparent in how you've (mis)characterized him, and used personal insults, that you don't like him. What you really don't like about one another are your personalities: you both accuse each other of acting superior. You must both be right, because it's what you really think, and that's the nature of such personal opinions. BSB, I like much of your writing, your knowledge, stories, and humor, and even if you get a little ornery at times I love a good friendly disagreement or challenge, but it makes me feel impatient and sorry, both for you, your target, and Formblog readers like me when you take the lower road and mock and demean and dismiss and intimidate, ducking for cover saying it was a tiff between the men that everyone's overreacting about. I am being tedious, and I hope readers will forgive that I think it's worthwhile, and that you will read my sincerity with patience. We're real people, BSB, not pseudonyms on an anonymous debate board. Looking for little flaws in someone's argument or presentation but avoiding what they're really trying to say may score points in Forensic League, but in a friendly environment it makes no sense and just feels small, diminishing, like some people talk to teenagers, or how some teenagers treat each other. When Mike A said he had gotten some email from newcomers who were afraid to post because they thought you or others would shoot them down, yes, it was rude and unfair to cite them, but don't overlook the point that he said they thought your aggression alienated them, and he thought it was unfair. Yes, I said "girl," you said "girlish," you got me. No, I don't prefer "gutless" to lacking "sacks," it's just telling that you often use this kind of manly/girlish language. (Last night, I texted my friend Franco about a $3WP bet on a $15 winner. He replied ironically, "bet like a man" and I LOLed and thought of you.) Yes, dishing about someone behind their back in public during a couple weeks when they're not around and can't respond within the thread for a while is different than insinuating that some anonymous blog reader is critical and afraid of you, because you stand behind it personally, "open and out front." You, "Blackseabass" or "BSB," a pseudonym without an email address. I think you (dis)missed the point of what I said about that comparison, what was it again? Whatever, right? Who cares? You can say anything you want, however you want! Why not say what you want nicely, then? I know you disagree with a lot of this, and who knows what you'll think of me, and obviously you have other sides to these stories, but please accept that I feel that I am talking to a friend. I, like you, can be harsh, but I don't feel mean, and I'm not aiming to hurt. I have no fear, either, because as big as your genius brain is, that's how big my heart is. Like Annie says, I must have Ex-FACTOR. I am mad, because I really like Formblog, and think Mike A is a great writer and old-time 'capper, with a unique old-time style, and I like that he publishes here and contributes to Dan Illman's archives (oh Lord (Illman) may they be eventually searchable, ). True, he and anyone who chooses to post or not to do it out of free will, but the tenor of posts directly affects whether many will make that choice. I wish posters, yourself and Mike A included, could get over these "manly" arguments and stop feeling like they have to call each other, or anyone, out on their mistakes, attitude, and "crap" using immature insults and attacks. If you want to call someone out, if it's worth addressing someone publicly here, do it respectfully, even if it's contrary or incisive. Instead of playing last man standing, or withstanding, if you can't criticize nicely, why don't you and Mike A ignore each other? Stop teasing, diminishing, challenging, defending, and arguing, and proving and asking for proof, or at least do it with class, as in getting along in class so we can all get more out of it. Just spend your time writing better material. C, if you're drudging through this (heaven help you if you are still here--not since the announcement of the juvenile new BC race have your eyes rolled so many times), a similar maxim could apply to you: don't wait for people to start having a better conversation while you sit back and coolly criticize the boredom. Bring the party, break up the HG posts with something interesting, ask a question once in a while, and get into it for fun. [As an aside (oh boy), for many years I've spoken of a unique and potent form of journalism or academic exchange that I called a "webversation," and even led two very interesting group interviews and discussions with notable scholars in my field, although the book deal was aborted with the person who offered me the articles, so the articles were aborted, too. It was still awesome, and I got a lot of questions answered by people whose opinions I want to hear. Webversation is cute, but isn't exactly it, but just so that there shall be no red-wording, if you hear that term, I think I made it up first. Really, any vocalized fricative before the "v" is a nice candidate, as in, "Formblogversation." Discussions and interviews with specialists and students in a web forum, maybe Google Talk with Google Apps, or right here, selected and presented either by one or more editors, or by self-selection and at least a copy-editor, into articles divided into something like magazine sections, or into a book-length compilation that could alternatively be ordered by who's talking to whom, so that whomever I address or addresses me are grouped as a thread. How fruitful it would be if (just as a fanciful example) Dan Illman posted an more formal open forum discussion topic or some specific questions, and you, you, and you, too, and even you, if you play nice--no spades allowed, no matter what they're called--and we all had a very, very interesting written conversation, releasing the content and aware that it would comprise a compilation for a larger, lasting audience, knowing too it could be edited. Well, it could already be that way. At times, it is. Now I'm under no illusion that we would have the time to do something like that, and what I'm talking about is a bigger deal. Something the New York Times should be doing if they're not. Bloggingheads, which they sponsor, is a very, very cool idea, though. Maybe some publications are using this kind of production, and actually I'm surprised I haven't seen it yet. I've thought a lot about the potential for written discussion groups, especially ones of this size, which is historically a very recent advent, (maybe early examples can be noted from biblical, legal, or even chess notations, and some letters between multiple people, before bulletin boards invented a new form of writing. It's still wild territory.] Now then, if I didn't like you, BSB, and not just your tendency at times to act like an @$$ (name-calling, I know, but with symbols!), if I felt the way Mike A did, I wouldn't pay you an iota of heed, and would skip your posts with ease. You may be some fishing man, but I know a hook when I see one. I certainly wouldn't spend my evening writing a letter to you instead of handicapping upcoming races (crap, now Uncle Steve will know I'm procrastinating. Nah, he won't read this, and he'd understand anyway). But I did spend this precious time in my garden pleasantly writing this, hoping it makes both you and Mike A smile with understanding despite its excesses, because readers aren't impervious voices who don't have to care, but people who do care if they choose to, and posts are public letters among them, "Letters to Formblog." Sincerely, Jonah
theshamrockbend More than 1 year ago
THATS WHY I LOVE THIS PLACE One of my favorite talkradio personalities has..." only three requirements of participants.. That they be CIVIL, COGENT and CONCISE.." I have no problem with the first two. There are so many related issues on this blog that I refrain from posting because my comments sometimes require long winded expression and I love to find /use examples that were birthed in actual events in Thoroughbred history / lore . Stories about bets won and lost are sometimes weary,sometimes hilarious and sometimes incredible ,(in both senses) But what would a story be if it were never told ? So they MUST be told Real Benjamins or just Bragging rights Truth Be Told...But I digress.. Many postings DEMAND a response..especially those that nurture a climate , NOT of diversity, but one of divisity..(.or is that divisiveness ?) All those testimonials of gratitude and appreciation must surely signal the need for ,and the strength of THIS PLACE. Last week I dropped in on the Friday Night Fun..was somewhat unprepared.. thus,limited participation....then,typically, I tentatively dipped my toes in,, which led to my foot in........where else? ANother Loser... Enjoyed The interaction with Laura .Annie, Jonah, SR Vegas and the rest of the crew Plan to return and I STRONGLY recommend/prescribe some Friday night live chat... Frinstance, (always wanted to use thart), some guy kept harping,well maybe not harping but he he had noticed, and wanted all to know that Trainer Mike Mitchell.(The Magician) was having certaln negative results with his runners [READ; off the board favorites ,many DNF'S] Truth be tod two races later...guess what? It was like Deja vu all over again.. Truth be told Had the eventual winner boxed with the off the board fav. resulting in a net/gross loss It was like Deja vu all over again... Listen,yougottaminit? ( AWTUT) Lemmetelyouastory (ok,ok) Morston Brigadier Gerard Nijinsky Roberto Dr Fager Lamantarra etc,,,etc...just ask.....in fact I'll tell you now I had a flyer on Can't refuse ($108.), because I wasn't gonna let Curatola win his fourth on the day riding this dog that I lose on EVERY tiime he loses.but the real $$$ were riding on Espinoza (?) on the 2nd place finisher, AT MAYBE 25-1...Did not cash the 4 digit exacta... Ask me about Lemondrop Kid/Vision and Verse...Jose Santos And brother in law Heriberto Castillo high fiving at the wire in.. that edition of the Belmont Stakes ..another 4 bagger HG 23?...The Met Mile... I sink with the Drosselmeyer, ,,sent out FBI,CIA, ICE, OSS, Gordon Liddy , Ollie North And Snoop Dogg...couldnt find him.. next start....welll ...whaddaya know.....zero for me Just ask me gotta go before somebody asks me to....
blackseabass More than 1 year ago
Steve T . # 2 Not only is it a serious jump but it can be quantified at 1 1/2 beyer points per month off on avg. When its a 2nd timer that you give the 3-5 lengths as well it can add up to a big beyer jump and price to go with it. Provided the Target Horse isn't already faster than the horse you expect to improve can be if he gets the projected avg. improvement. Sometimes the number jumps even more (or not at all) but to be on the safe side projecting avg. improvement will produce lots of winners. # 1 2yr old main track debut winners can win 2nd out even in stakes. 3yr old 2nd time debut winners with the break from 2-3 can do it too although not 50% of the time. LSD if you can put up PPs for Werblin I think they can be an illustrative example if my memory is correct. The coin flip mdns are literally coin flips and they place 80% of the time. For Pic players this should be helpful when looking for singles. You get to single with a 50-50 shot and most of the other players are going deep because its a mdn race thats considered to be wide open . Mdn races are not usually wide open. They are the most formful races at the track.
C More than 1 year ago
BSB, I post and read, just not quite as often. Maybe this is just a slow period in the racing season or maybe there's nothing new to discuss that hasn't been discussed before. Whatever the case is, it seems that most of the content is basically "here are my picks" followed by "here's how I did today". I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that... it's just not very interesting to read or comment on. I skip right over picks and results. The exception is the Kentucky Derby... I like reading those blurbs, mostly because it gives me an idea of where the public might be leaning. My Derby morning line still ends up completely wrong 99% of the time anyway. Curt, No-no no, no no, no-no-no-no... the Human Beinz.
gerry v. More than 1 year ago
STEVE T Thanks for the info; looks like early speed is no longer "the universal bias"(at least not on synth)
blackseabass More than 1 year ago
Caseyjeaux, LOL. Nice lyric. Have you ever caught a Sauger or a Saugeye or a Gaskagoola ? Not sure of the spelling on that last one. Its something like a freshwater White Sea Bass. My kid caught one on our way back from North Carolina last year in Oklahoma in a big lake not far from the Ark State line. The Sauger looked like a Walleye the Saugeye was 1/2 Walleye . They all looked like they might be tasty but we let them all go. I caught seven species from that lake in half a day.All on Blams which is a local saltwater soft swimbait from SoCal. Something like a fishtrap with a different kind of tail. Eufola I think that lake was called. I caught Stripers ,Wipers, Small mouths ,Largemouths , Saugers, Saugeyes & Cats . The kid got the Gaskagoola. Funny thing was the place was supposed to be famous for the Crappie fishing and we didn't catch a single crappie even with 1/2 Blams and Crappie jigs. Full Blams are to big a bait for most Crappie unless they are monsters like the ones you and Kelly Belles were getting a few months back. Thought I'd throw an old perch jerker a change -up just to keep it sociable. BTW I don't mind you eating a few of my friends but to flatly state that they are not your friends while enjoying their delicious flavor seems a little harsh . LOL. One of my cousins lives at Table Rock Res. have you fished it ? If so is it worth making a visit ?
Virgin Queen More than 1 year ago
BSB i don't believe i saw that movie. the last movie i saw was just after u came on the blog. " the weasel from california " iirc i had 2 butter popcorns washed down by a couple of nip bottles i snuck in 2 the joint. irrational exuberance iirc the market tanked right after greenspan opened his big mouth unfortunately i didn't have an advanced copy of the chairmans speech that nite and i got caught in the downdraft like everybody else. Dazed&Confused nice 2 hear from u again i put u on the wackymacky bandwagon btw, speaking of hillbillies, how many times did u c the movie deliverance? no question in mind that those 2 hillbillies were a bunch of two dollar show bettors. the giveaway was when they made bobby strip down butt naked and then had him start squealing like a pig. right then and there i knew they were vertical and not horizontal players. peace VQ
Laura More than 1 year ago
Today's blue-blooded babies: HOL Race 6, MSW 5.5F Pogonip (Street Sense - Queen Mama, by Seattle Slew) is a half brother to two listed turf stakes placed runners. Mama is a half sis to Beherns, top handicap horse and average sire. A half sis of Queen Mama gave us Cowboy Cal, G-2 winner and new sire. Pogonip has posted four 5F works in 1:00, including one from the gate. She might be worth a look. Curt V. will probably bet her down to even money. On the work list: Steve T.'s favorite filly RUTHERIENNE has a little half brother, Ruthless Empire. I profiled him in a watch list last week. Ruthless Empire (Empire Maker - Ruthian, by Rahy) has a page of 4 & 5F works at CD and he should be running soon. ***** TBTA, Seattle Slew is certainly a turf influence and as a sire, got 20% winners over the lawn. His best runners include Digression - Champion 2 year-old in England, Slew of Reality 1996 Champion 2 Year-Old in Argentina, Borodislew, group/graded sw in France & US, Glowing Honor (won Diana H. twice), plus Group winners in other countries. Seattle Slew's sons have't don that well at stud. Undoubtedly, his best son at stud is A.P. Indy, isn't as good a turf sire as Slew, getting only 12% winners over the lawn. A.P. Indy has produced 23 stakes winners over the grass in the last 10 years including 2009 - 2010 Sword Dancer winner Telling, Indy Five Hundred, Just As Well, Marchfield, Adriano, Delta Princess, Flashing, etc. Another son of Seattle Slew, Slew City Slew, is a lesser stallion, but got sound runners. His best son is Lava Man. He also sired Maysville Slew and Mint Slewlip, both hardy stakes winners over turf. But overall,Slew's sons at stud (say that 6 times fast) get just 12% winners over turf. Seattle Slew was a better broodmare sire than sire of sires. In the last ten years as a broodmare sire Slew has produced the winners of 70 stakes races, most of them graded. As a damsire, his offspring include Fraar, multiple Group winner in England/Australia, BC Turf winner Dangerous Midge, Bachelor Duke (Irish Guineas), Balmont (Middlepark Stakes) Boboman (Hol. Turf Cup) - remember him? Plus Dynaslew, Montgomery's Arch, Spice Girl, First Defense (a son of Honest Lady), and, well, a slew of other Group runners in Japan, Italy, Australia etc.
Its a wacker More than 1 year ago
P Ensign- That would be class of '94 for me, its funny that instead of us tryibg to emulate that movie -the first time we saw it, it seemed to emulate us! Thats when you know its a good one. I'm glad someone got that quote. BSB- Relax! Try listening to some surf music, I'll let you borrow my CD by the Halibuts. The title is Hammerhead.
blackseabass More than 1 year ago
Jonah , " (essentially the same kind of behind the back whispering ) " No not hardly kid . Its nowhere near the same thing .What I said has my name attached to it. What I said about Mike I've said to him directly several times in the past. Me to him . No middle man. Open and out front. Not exactly the same thing as I'm sure you're smart enough to see if you cared to, rather than to try and create a smoke screen to fog the issue. I didn't actually call anyone a girl . I said "girlish" which means like a girl. You picked up on what was bothering me though . You said, " I especially don't like that it raises suspicions about who said what ". Exacta-ly ! If you were on the recieving end of that like I have been or Whacky was you'd like it even less. Do you prefer the word gutless rather than sackless ? No problema, make it gutless then. I think I've been fairly generous with you Jonah . You can do me a favor in return. Open a file in your memory bank so you don't misqoute or mischaracteriZe "the private e-mail brouhaha of july 2011 " 6 months from now. Like you've done with me in the past. >>>> The target horse is the horse thats already ran the fastest.>>> If I can swing DMR I will. I probably won't know until about a week before you guys are going. I have a lot of birthdays and such family things as reunions the latter part of August and I'm not part of the planning just an expected attendee. Read what Steve T wrote today it will reinforce what I told you 2 weeks ago about projections for mdns off lay-offs. I will also be responding to what Steve wrote and you might be able to learn something if you pay attention. C, I'm picking up what you're laying down. Don't feel like the Lone Ranger a derby line is tough to nail down. Something will come up thats interesting before long. The Human BeinZ . I forgot you were, like CurtV, the go to music trivia guy on the blog. You two can name that tune in no notes !! CurtV always knows the original & you always know who made it famous. You guys nail it even if the lyrics are butchered. Heck you even got Little Peggy March that one time ! Its a wacker, is there really a band called the Halibuts ? I'll tell my kid to pick up a CD. BTW you haven't been around here that long. I'm totally relaxed & hangin' loose braaghh. Its just that my relaxed is what some people might call intense. LOL. Really, I'm just playing my role on formblog. You'll figure that out. LOL. If someone makes a pot of pudding you can count on me or VQ to stir the pot . LOL. Stick around. I can do funny to go with my mean & nasty. C, takes over for me sometimes and he does a heck of a Poltergiest . He's pretty funny sometimes too. Longwaytomay, thanks . I take that as a compliment and of course I wouldn't expect you to always agree with me. They looked a lot like Walleye. Not being a real big fish eater I have to say that Walleye are the best eating fresh water fish I've ever tasted. The Gaskagoola was some kind of fresh water Drum or what we call out here a Croaker. He had some shoulders on him and fought pretty good. I had to ask around a little before I found a local that told me they called them Gaskagoola. Annie , I'm the last guy that wants heavy censhorship on the blog. If I was acting like a blog cop it wasn't my intention and I apologiZe. When I said "BSB says , don't... " I wasn't expecting anyone to listen.LOL. They're free to spread internal blog rumors if they so choose. Van Savant , from my end LSD didn't delete a word. I can't say about anyone else. VQ, The Man Who Fell To Earth was Bowie. He'd watch about 10 TVs at once. The 2nd worst movie of all-time. LOL on the vertical players. You're always good for laughs. peace. KNM, thanks. I knew I could count on you Kid . LOL. CurtV , I can't Boogaloo a lick,buttZ... you know I can do the JERK.