04/08/2014 4:36PM

Keeneland Baby


News flash. A Wesley Ward-trained baby didn’t win the initial juvenile race of the Keeneland spring meet.

It wasn't for lack of trying.

Ward, the noted 2-year-old guru, sent out the 8-5 chalk filly Climb in Back (by Ready's Image) and 7-2 third-choice Time Out of Mind (a colt by Montbrook) in last Saturday's 2-year-old heat. Considering Ward's gaudy Formulator statistics (12-28, 43%, slightly positive ROI) over the past four years with 2-year-old debut runners at 4 1/2 furlongs over the Keeneland polytrack, many handicappers felt that the race was a foregone conclusion.

Shockingly, both Ward runners finished off the board behind Skyway, a John Oxley-owned, Mark Casse-trained son of Sky Mesa. Casse, based at Woodbine for most of the year, teamed up with Oxley to win a baby race during the 2013 Keeneland spring meet. That filly, Sky America, also by Sky Mesa, is now stakes-placed.

Although not favored, Skyway was no secret as the 5-2 second favorite on the tote. On the "Clocker's Comments" section of the Keeneland website, it was noted that Skyway gave a "sharp gate effort, a length better than Sky Racer, out in :59/3" for his published bullet workout on March 25. Sky Racer, a $160,000 yearling purchase by Sky Mesa, is possible for a maiden race later in the meet for these connections.

Skyway broke from the inside post in the field of seven under jockey Stewart Elliott. Soon, he was chasing Time Out of Mind, who sprinted clear through an opening quarter in 21.92. Elliott had the whip out early on Skyway, but the chestnut collared Time Out of Mind without much fuss in upper stretch. Not surprisingly, the inexperienced Skyway raced greenly. It took him until the sixteenth pole to make his final lead change and he was drifting in during the last furlong, but he pulled clear to win by 6 3/4 lengths in 51.62. It wasn't the most impressive debut in the world, but it was plenty useful enough.

Skyway was foaled in New York on March 25, 2012 and sold for $165,000 last October at Fasig-Tipton. He is a half-brother to three-time stakes-winner Ava K., a Dixie Union filly that was precocious enough to win her first three races by a combined 15 3/4 lengths, and had enough stamina to secure the $60,000 Proud Puppy Stakes at 1 Mile 70 Yards.

Their dam, Bedside Manner, was an excellent Empire-bred filly by Dr. Blum, winning seven of 12 starts for earnings of $262,223. She captured her first five races by a combined 30 3/4 lengths and received a career-best 102 Beyer Speed Figure for a four-length triumph in the $83,000 Schenectady Handicap at six furlongs. Bedside Manner prevailed at distances ranging from six furlongs to 1 1/16 miles and was perfect from three races around two turns.

Sky Mesa, a son of Pulpit, was a fantastic 2-year-old for Oxley and trainer John Ward Jr. He won his debut by 7 3/4 lengths travelling six furlongs at Saratoga, and then came right back four weeks later to take the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes at seven panels with a 103 Beyer. Sky Mesa concluded his juvenile campaign with a two-turn triumph in the Grade 2 Breeders' Futurity on dirt at Keeneland.

Unfortunately, Sky Mesa was injured after the race and missed the spring classics. He failed to win from three starts upon his return, but gave decent performances when third in the Grade 2 Dwyer (104 Beyer) and second in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational (106 Beyer).

At stud, Sky Mesa is the sire of two Grade 1 winners. General Quarters earned the Blue Grass Stakes over polytrack and the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic on grass, while Sky Diva nabbed the Frizette Stakes on dirt.

As for Skyway, he has tons of growing up still to do. Casse has lots of options in the near future as he could keep the colt on polytrack by trying him in the $125,000 Victoria Stakes at five furlongs on June 21. Six days prior is the $100,000 Tremont Stakes at 5 1/2 furlongs on dirt at Belmont while the six-furlong, Grade 3 Bashford Manor Stakes will be run at Churchill Downs on June 28.

I have a sneaking suspicion that Skyway is not the 2015 Kentucky Derby winner, but he may prove to be a capablel sort at middle-distances on both dirt and synthetic.


Could you please let us know what the Beyer speed figures were for the whole Wood field?

Here are the Wood Memorial Beyers and how they stacked up to each horse's prior race:

Wicked Strong - 104 (87)
Samraat - 98 (96)
Social Inclusion - 98 (111)
Schivarelli - 96 (86)
Uncle Sigh - 91 (96)
Noble Moon - 90 (85)
Kristo - 77 (84)
Effinex - 76 (80)
Harpoon - 74 (86)
Los Borrachos - 47 (77)


*Just want to thank everyone for sticking with me as I begin to blog more often. The links to the previous blogs (and blog comments) are listed below.






You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman


Congrats to Biggar W for finishing first in last week's Wood Memorial HandiGambling race.

Rick M's scoresheet is available at the bottom of this blog post.

On tab 2 you will see each HG Race we've held and they are color coded to denote if the race was run on Turf, Dirt or Poly.



Copy of Formblog Wood Memorial 4-5-14.xls71.5 KB
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Annie YES! I'm so excited about my STRONG MANDATE ...need a 1st or 2nd to get those points and have a chance to get the Roses. I feel pretty 'strong' about this, but regardless the outcome, it will be quite the MKB race ! hmmm...look for the Blue Thong 6-9 Ex Box . TBTA Commissioner with SR Vegas Strong Mandate :) yuwipi "...I find them fascinating and will be archive diving over the next month..." So do I . So much that I learned the system and have copy and pasted files since 2010. JJ will be updating the Ky Derby entrants for everyone . Thanks JJ :) SR Vegas
Turnbackthealarm More than 1 year ago
A friend's Haiku came to mind as I was watching Keeneland today and here is what she wrote: Spring is in the trees tiny, new, ready to bloom warm breezes soothe me #haiku #englishteacherswag Pat Gavin, Perhaps you know Jack Francis. He was originally from NJ, and one of the funniest guys I've ever met. Lacrosse players were about as "sick" as water polo players back in the day. I loved hanging with them. Handicapping the cheap races at Keeneland. Gulfstream is the trending track for winners and MSW droppers into MCL is doing well too.
Jackson Jackson More than 1 year ago
Vicstu - No it's not like a dosage index. It's a way to account for the entire pedigree as opposed to the dead end street of TM & TF line. MTB was a 23 .Generally there is more than one runner with the right kind of number . I wouldn't say you can boil down the winner but you can separate the likely from the unlikely winners. IMO I've demonstrated over the last four years that what I said the first time was correct. I'm not really interested in breaking it down on the blog anymore . Been there done that . It's in the archives . Do some investigative work if you want an explanation .Why should I rewrite long posts explaining stuff that I've explained to you personally in the past ? If you aren't aware than it means you weren't interested enough in the first, 2nd ,3rd or 4th place. Some of the bloggers paid attention when I first mentioned it several years back. Some of them were too smart to pay any attention to some cockamamie theory advanced by some unknown stumblebum :) Others attacked it as Voodoo . I'll still put the numbers up for the bloggers that might want them . If they want them, then I want them to have them . I'm not explaining it or defending it here anymore . Been there, done that. If I put numbers or stats up here I don't pull them out of my ... You can take that on faith or disregard it . That's up to you. Yes lets consider Carl Nafzger . He's won the derby twice . Both times with a 1 . Unbridled =1 Summer Squall = 2 Pleasant Tap = 1 Video Ranger ( a maiden ) = TT 1,2 Bernard Downes - See what I mean about the connection between interest and memory . Yuwipi - when the field is set I'll post the numbers again. JJ
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
" i picture Annie as Judy Garland in the Andy Hardy movies" speaking of the Andy Hardy movies there's a talk radio show here in Boston that feature's what they call *The Death Pool* what you do is call up and submit a person's name that you think will be dying in the near future. the usual names are Hollywood stars,sports figures and politician's. there are certain rules e.g the person can't be given a week to live etc. Mickey Rooney was on that list for years until the other day. btw, believe in 1940 he was the top box office attraction in the country Annie might be like Judy Garland in the Andy Hardy movies ( I wouldn't know having never seen the movies ) but in real life. I kind of doubt it. I think the way Judy lived her life would be *just a little to fast for Annie* even though I believe she was born in Annie's neck of the woods. Hot 'N' Nasty
pat gavin More than 1 year ago
Bernard Not bloggers as the "TomO'Bedlams"... it is the denizens that frequent MD tracks and Pimlico specifically who fit the model of vagrants and beggars. Gender vs Sex. A politically correct football. I prefer the old uses that define what is. Gender used to mean "kind or sort". It was hijacked to define what is now known mental or behavioral characteristics of males and females, and gradually to replace the word sex. The sex of someone is either male or female biologically. They have made it so confusing for whatever reason and I am against the wily nily changes in language. And I have pegged Bernard to be.... Sir John Gielgud. TBTA. I, or one of my brothers know or knew most of the lacrosse players of the era. We all played in college and back then it was a small society. Plus if he is from the Baltimore area...everyone knows everyone in a six degrees of separation. We call it "tiny town" for a reason. I know a ton of guys who played at MD then (that is my era as well). I played at St. Mary's College of Maryland.D111, but tons of fun and we were nationally ranked my junior and senior years.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So who are the distance influences out there today? One of the ones to key on is the Deputy Minister line which has produced Deputy Commander, Awesome Again, Open Mind, Flag Down, Touch Gold, Go For Wand, Mr. Purple, Miss Shop, Go Deputy and their sons and daughters as well. In the 2014 Kentucky Derby you will find Deputy Minister in the pedigree of... Nobody. Here are just some of the ones who have shown that their progeny can get 10F: A.P. INDY AWESOME AGAIN BIRDSTONE CRYPTOCLEARANCE CURLIN DEPUTY MINISTER EMPIRE MAKER GIANT’S CAUSEWAY HAIL TO REASON HALO KEY TO THE MINT LEMON DROP KID RAHY ROYAL CHARGER SEEKING THE GOLD SILVER HAWK SUNDAY SILENCE VICTORY GALLOP
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Formblog on 3/12 i purchased pps from DRF. that transaction was posted on my statement that I received today. there was also another transaction also dated 3/12 on my statement from a foreign company called *bls weblearn*. no idea who they were so I googled the name and found out that it's a web scam. they were charging me $10.48 cents for who knows what. I found out they attack *Gambling Sites* etc . here's my question: when I bought the pps from DRF I used a credit card that I have never used before online. so how did they get my credit card #? did they intercept my transaction with DRF? is my computer somehow compromised? I ran a complete scan on the computer and it turned up nothing thx for the help Hot 'N' Nasty
Turnbackthealarm More than 1 year ago
Pat Gavin, Thanks for the comparison to Katharine Hepburn. I've always loved her, she drank, she smoked and did whatever she pleased............all while wearing pants. ( I hate dresses!) Sure wish I was as tall and thin. Question for you about your lacrosse exploits. Did you by any chance play for University of Maryland back in the very late seventies, early eighties? If so, we may have a friend in common.
AZ Wildcat More than 1 year ago
Annie - here ya go, the lowdown on Orb and distance: ORB (Malibu Moon x Lady Liberty, Unbridled) Sire Malibu Moon doesn’t really give you a clue from his two races; he ran at 4 ½ and 5 furlongs at Hollywood and then was outta there with a busted knee. So we have to look at what the family lines have done and how the children of Malibu Moon have done to get an idea of their distance capability. Malibu Moon’s dam was a French import by the name of Macoumba. Macoumba is a Mr. Prospector mare out of the Green Dancer mare Maximova who ran in France and England her whole career finishing 6-3-0-0, breaking her maiden at Longchamp, winning the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac (1600M/8F) and the Prix Imprudence (1400M/7F). Something obviously went wrong with her and they retired her at 3. She has thrown 12 foals (her last was Fiji Moon), 10 of them made it to the track and 7 of them won led by $304K earner Somethingdangerous. Here are the top ten Malibu Moon kiddies by earnings (without Orb obviously): LIFE AT TEN (Malibu Moon by Rahrahsixboomgah, Rahy) – won at 10F in the Delaware Handicap in 2:03. AH DAY (Malibu Moon x Endette, Thirty Eight Paces) – pretty much all sprint, never tried past a mile. BY THE LIGHT (Malibu Moon x Dixie Tempo, Major Impact) – another sprinter who won out to a mile, faded in her one try at 8.5F. MALIBU MINT (Malibu Moon x Ivory Mint, Key to the Mint) – I love this filly, she has made me some serious money. I was crying in my beer when they retired her. She won at 6F, 6 ½F, and 7F. Never tried farther. DEVIL MAY CARE (Malibu Moon x Kelli’s Ransom) – was actually a runner in the 2010 Kentucky Derby, finishing 10th. She was an easy winner at 9F on the GR-2 Bonnie Miss, won the GR-1 Mother Goose at 8.5F, won the GR-1 Coaching Club at 9F and ran evenly in the GR-1 Alabama at 10F, finishing 4th to Blind Luck beaten by 4 ½ lengths. PROSPECTIVE (Malibu Moon x Spirited Away, Awesome Again) – won the GR-3 Grey Stakes at 8.5F by 2 lengths, won the Pasco Stakes at 7F, won the Tampa Bay Derby at 8.5F, was 18th in the Kentucky Derby, won the Victoria Stakes at 9F, won the GR-3 Ohio Derby at 8.5F, and the Delta Mile. MOON CATCHER (Malibu Moon x Smartster, Smarten) – broke her maiden at Oaklawn at 6F on dirt, won at a mile on dirt, won at 8.5F on dirt, and was 4th in the 10F Alabama. DECLAN’S MOON (Malibu Moon x Vee Vee Star, Norquestor) – was the champion two year old for 2004 and never came back the same as a three year old. Won at 8.5F in the GR-2 Santa Catalina and the GR-1 Hollywood Futurity. Now making his living as a jumper. STRIKE THE MOON (Malibu Moon x Star Kell, Star de Naskra) – pretty much all sprint although she was beaten by a head in the 8.5F Delaware Oaks by St John’s River. The answer if we look at the top Malibu Moon runners is a definite maybe, he does have a winner at 10F but it was in a 2:03, has a bunch who have won at 9F, and has gotten some top notch sprinters and milers. He is definitely a Storm Cat, he is a true conduit sire who will pass on the dam’s genes. Which makes the dam a critical part of the equation when evaluating their distance capability. Dam Lady Liberty was a hard knocking mare by Unbridled out of the Cox’s Ridge mare Mesabi Maiden. She ran 23-4-4-4 earning $202K. She is one of the regally bred fillies from the Janney/Phipps machine. She broke her maiden at Saratoga on the dirt at 9F, winning by 3 over Treasure Beach. She then won her N1X on the dirt at 6 ½ furlongs at Gulfstream, an off the turf mile at Belmont and wait for it… a mile and a half in an allowance at Keeneland on the turf. So she definitely has the genes to go long. She has thrown four foals, one was unraced, one was only raced once and Cause of Freedom went 17-3-2-2 earning $105K. Cause of Freedom won three times, all were 9F on the turf, at Tampa, Gulfstream and Saratoga. The bottom line on Orb is that he is very well suited for 10F, with a sire who has gotten a 10F winner, a whole bunch of 9F types, and a dam that won at a mile and a half. Grade A
Lost Code More than 1 year ago
It is certainly not my intention to embarrass Dan, but I gotta say what a class-act Dan is. Everybody here already knows that, but Dan is the type of guy that will take time for you even if he doesn't know you. I had the occasion to twitter Dan about a horse in last week's Ashland Stakes and he took the time to respond to my tweet and I thought that was awesome, especially since I knew he had a lot going on that day. We are all fortunate to have a good guy like Dan to be able to interact with and learn from. Thanks Dan for hanging-out with us regular Joes.