04/03/2014 4:28PM

Keeneland. It's Spring Again!


You know that it's just about time to bid adieu to Old Man Winter when the good folks at Keeneland open the doors for another spring meeting.

After this meet, it will be spring cleaning at Keeneland as the polytrack racing experiment will come to an end, and good old-fashioned Kentucky blue-dirt will return to the main track.

The Opening Day feature is the Grade 3 Transylvania Stakes for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on turf and trainer Chad Brown looks to have the field surrounded. He'll send out the speedy STORMING INTI and the stalking PLEUVEN, and you get the feeling if the left doesn't get you, the right will.

Storming Inti (5-2 ML) has good early speed, but I'm not sure he's absolutely loose here. The turnback in distance may work to his favor, but I prefer Pleuven (4-1 ML). The French-bred was sidelined by a foot problem upon his arrival to these shores and may have needed a race when third to the good turf performer Mr. Speaker in the Grade 3 Dania Beach Stakes on December 21.

He looked primed for a big effort in the Grade 3 Palm Beach Stakes on March 1, but lacked a strong late punch after sitting a good trip off the speeds in the second flight. He'll reunite with Alan Garcia, a jockey that is 10 for his last 30 over the Keeneland turf course, and gets one chance to atone for the recent loss.

Those two are certainly not the only contenders in this good field. PICOZZA (9-2 ML) beat a weak maiden group at Gulfstream for Pletcher, but looks to be going the right way. CAN'THELPBELIEVING (8-1 ML) has a good kick and a world of upside, but is stuck way outside (note that posts eight and out were 2 for 53 at 1 1/16 miles on turf at Keeneland last year). MEDAL COUNT (12-1 ML) gets back to his preferred surface while the well-bred WOODFIELD SPRINGS (12-1 ML) polished off his last quarter in 22.97 in winning a Gulfstream maiden. GLOBAL VIEW (4-1 ML) won the Grade 3 Generous last year and chased Bobby's Kitten, arguably the best 3-year-old turf horse in the country, at Tampa Bay last time out. And, if you want a big bomb, RY'S THE MAN (30-1 ML) is undefeated from two starts on turf at Fair Grounds.

*Fans of pedigree will watch the underachieving SECRET BID (Street Cry - Inside Information, 6-1 ML) in the fourth race at 1 3/16 miles on turf. Inside Information was a Phipps-bred monster, winning 14 of 17 starts on dirt including six Grade 1 races. Secret Bid has only scored once from six races (an off-the-turf maiden race at Aqueduct), but adds blinkers for Shug. Of course, the blinkers might just be the last resort. I'll merely watch with interest.

WATERY MOON (8-1 ML), a son of Sweet Nanette (stakes-winnning sprinter, 102 Beyer) and a half to the fleet Sherriff Cogburn, makes his career debut in the sixth race, a six-furlong polytrack event. By Malibu Moon, Watery Moon sold for $275,000 as a yearling and is trained by Graham Motion. Whether he wants polytrack is another question entirely.

Another first-time starter in the race, COASTAL MOON (Malibu Moon - Coastal Wave), received a nice comment from the Keeneland Clocker Report, a valuable reference located on the track's website.  The March 25 workout attracted a "nice gate effort, held a slight edge on Moon Traveler". Moon Traveler is a 4-year-old gelding that hasn't competed since January 24, 2013. In his day, Moon Traveler was stakes-placed on synthetic and had an 88 Beyer top on dirt.

Let's talk about some of the big weekend stakes tomorrow afternoon.


Hello race fans...4-3-2014
Race 1 Oaklawn Today!!!
Something I have not seen in many years!!!!
Starter has a quick trigger finger...the #9, was 5/2 choice, was about to load as the other 8 horses were waiting, and was doing a circle behind the gate, and low and behold, they are offffffff, as Frank called it!!!!! But wait race fans, we forgot #9!!! He never was loaded into the gate!!!! Hold all tickets!!!!! As they race around the clubhouse turn, we are one short here in the opener!!! Again, please hold all tickets!!!!!
Dan, when have you seen this last and could you put this up for all of your fans!!! This is really amazing!!! What was the starter looking at??
I wonder if I can get into a 20-40 no-limit Texas hold-em game at Foxwoods tonight??
Good Luck All
Whackymacky Out!!!

I can't recall seeing this, but I'm sure it's happened several times. It's interesting that you mention it because I just got off the phone with an angry handicapper who bet on that race. He felt that the entire affair should have been called a no-contest instead of simply refunding the bets on the forgotten favorite. The handicapper is at Oaklawn today, complained, and didn't get much satisfication with an explanation that the outcome wasn't altered by the horse not starting. While that might be true, the entire pace scenario and race shape could have changed, and thus the result may certainly have been different.

He was told that scratches happen all the time behind the gate and that horses even dump their riders once the gates open.

In the first case, you can amend your bet or get a refund. The second scenario is just a ridiculous comparison.

It just goes to show that anything can happen at the racetrack. Most of the time, the bettors get the short end of the stick.


Hoping you might be able to answer a Formulator question for me. The third drop down tab on the modify filter box is lists "owner" as one of the areas that can be modified and queried, but unlike trainer and jockey it can't be activated. Is this also the case on full card Formulator purchases? On the race of the day, 4/2, there was a TAP stat for MSW to MCLM routers that showed - 5 yrs., 7-17, 41%, 2.84 ROI. I would have liked to further filter the result based on Repole starters, an outfit I guessing that would be more apt than some of his clients to make that move. So, am I missing a way to accomplish this, or is the owner filtering a work in progress? Thanks for your insight.

Talked to customer service about your query and got a weird answer that I can't explain. For some reason, we aren't able to access the owner statistics in races carded in New York. I was told that you can get that data at all other tracks but, for some reason, they aren't available for New York. Weird.


Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures (3/24/14 - 3/30/14):

1. PALACE MALICE - 114 - New Orleans Handicap (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles - Fair Grounds
2. FURY KAPCORI - 107 - Santana Mile Stakes - 1 Mile - Santa Anita
2. HAPPY MY WAY - 107 - Sir Shackleton Stakes - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Gulfstream
4. UNTAPABLE - 106 - Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) - 1 1/16 Miles - Fair Grounds
5. COUNTERCYCLICAL - 104 - OC 17k/N1X -N - 6 Furlongs - Fair Grounds
6. CEE 'N O - 101 - OC25k/SAL25k - 6 Furlongs - Gulfstream
6. FAVORITE TALE - 103 - Alw 59400N1X - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Fair Grounds
6. HEY LEROY - 101 - Appleton Stakes (G3) - 1 Mile (Turf) - Gulfstream
6. MICROMANAGE - 103 - Skip Away Stakes (G3) - 1 3/16 Miles - Fair Grounds
10. NEWSDAD - 100 - Pan American Stakes (G2) - 1 1/2 Miles (Turf) - Gulfstream
11. CONSTITUTION - 99 - Florida Derby (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles - Gulfstream
11. LUCY'S BOB BOY - 99 - Alw 32000NC - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Charles Town
11. MONTY HAUL - 99 - OC 25k/N2X -N - 6 Furlongs - Parx
11. NATALIE VICTORIA - 99 - OC 75k/C -N - 1 Mile - Aqueduct
11. START JUMPING - 99 - OC 25k/N2X -N - 1 Mile - Laurel
16. EMBELLISHING BOB - 98 - Md Sp Wt 41k - 6 Furlongs - Fair Grounds
16. MYLUTE - 98 - OC 40k/N2X -N - 1 Mile 70 Yards - Fair Grounds
16. SKYRING - 98 - Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Handicap (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - Fair Grounds
16. VIVA MAJORCA - 98 - Md Sp Wt 44k - 7 Furlongs - Gulfstream
20. L. A. WEEKEND - 97 - Coyote Handicap - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Turf Paradise
20. THUNDER HARBOR - 97 - OC 20k/N1X - 6 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Turfway
20. VICAR'S IN TROUBLE - 97 - Louisiana Derby (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles - Fair Grounds
23. BOBBY V. - 96 - Clm 50000 - 7 Furlongs - Aqueduct
24. MOONE'S MY NAME (GB) - 95 - American Beauty Stakes - 1 Mile (Turf) - Santa Anita
24. OLDE BAY - 95 - Alw 26200N2X - 4 1/2 Furlongs - Charles Town
24. SECRETSATMIDNIGHT - 95 - OC 40k/N1X -N - 1 1/16 Miles - Santa Anita

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


Could you post the attached Trakus report from 3-29 when you roll the blog tomorrow (can you add back the two I sent earlier)? This one is huge, it shows the difference between his 50’ wide runs and his win where he was 6 feet less than the others. I really think that Trakus has value in determining why he performed or not. He is a hilarious horse to watch – every two weeks and he runs like his ass is on fire every time. But it was the rider change that made all the difference. You had it exactly right in your preview of the Appleton – he had to lay back, save ground and make one run. I didn’t expect a 1:32/2, but I knew he had the talent. Now watch them go right back to another rider and he will be a sinkhole. Ya gotta love horse racing, kind of like developing the theory of relativity on a dollar store calculator…
Steve T.

The Trakus screen captures for Hey Leroy are available at the bottom of this blog post.


The weekend handicapping previews should be available in the video player on the homepage soon.

You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman


Congrats to DavidM9999 for finishing first in last week's 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.

Let's go with Saturday's Wood Memorial at Aqueduct for this week's HandiGambling event.


SR Vegas and Rick M. have graciously decided to streamline all of the HG rules in order to make them an easier read for everyone...

With so many new people attending Dan's Formblog we thought it would be a good time to update the Handigambling Guidelines and Rules as we go forward in 2014.

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 if you could spare a sentence or two outlining your handicapping angles and thought processes about wagering, it would be appreciated.


-  Please start your post with  HG or HANDIGAMBLING to better recognize and find your entry.

-  You have a mythical $100 to wager in whatever format you choose and that is available for that HG race.
Anyone going over the $100 limit will be disqualified.

- Post your WAGER and ANALYSIS to the blog WITH YOUR NAME/OR MONIKER AT THE END OF THE 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 recognize you .

- (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.

- Separate your analysis from the wager and use the horses # in your wager. Just like you would do in a real wager. No horse names.

-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 "Monthly Enhanced 60-Card Past Performance Plan"

As an example :

HG 2014
The speed in this race goes to  horses # 1, 4 ,6 ..Ennie , Meenie, and Mo
Since it's a sprint I don't see any closers catching them.. like # 9 Miney.
I think trainer Groucho with the #6 Mo has the best stats in this condition, route to sprint.. just a gut feeling at large odds ML 20-1

HG wager
50$ Ex box 1-6
total $100

Thanks Dan!




Best of luck to all.

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