01/18/2011 5:00PM

Keep an Eye On...


Here are the top 25 winning Beyer Speed Figures from last week's races (1/10 - 1/16):

1. Big Drama - 119 - Mr. Prospector Stakes (G3) - Gulfstream - 6 Furlongs
2. Inherit the Gold - 100 - OC 35k/N1X-N - Aqueduct - 1 1/8 Miles (Inner Dirt)
3. Joey P. - 99 - OC 62k/N2X - Gulfstream - 6 Furlongs
4. Square Eddie - 98 - Alw 61924N2X - Santa Anita - 6 1/2 Furlongs
5. Tapizar - 97 - Sham Stakes (G3) - Santa Anita - 1 1/16 Miles
6. Gran Lioness - 96 - My Trusty Cat Stakes - Delta - 7 Furlongs
6. Quiet Giant - 96 - Lady on the Run Stakes - Aqueduct - 1 Mile (Inner Dirt)
8. Chief Jay - 95 - John E. Jackson Memorial Stakes - Fair Grounds - 5 1/2 Furlongs
8. Speedacious - 95 - Happy Ticket Stakes - Fair Grounds - 5 1/2 Furlongs
10. Tar Heel Mom - 94 - Sugar Swirl Stakes (G3) - Gulfstream - 6 Furlongs
11. Aspenglow - 93 - What A Summer Stakes - Laurel - 6 Furlongs
11. Vadertore - 93 - Alw 42460N1X - Golden Gate - 6 Furlongs (Tapeta)
13. Da Ruler - 92 - Md Sp Wt 54k - Santa Anita - 6 1/2 Furlongs
13. Mr. Commons - 92 - Md Sp Wt 55k - Santa Anita - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf)
13. Sin and the City - 92 - Alw 44000N1X - Aqueduct - 6 Furlongs (Inner Dirt)
16. Flashpoint - 91 - Md Sp Wt 41k - Aqueduct - 6 Furlongs (Inner Dirt)
16. Morumsco - 91 - OC 32k/N3X-N - Laurel - 7 Furlongs
16. Pewter - 91 - Clm 15000N4L - Aqueduct - 6 Furlongs (Inner Dirt)
19. Brilliant Sunshine - 90 - Alw 48400N2X - Parx - 6 Furlongs"
19. Catch a Thief - 90 - OC 100k/C-N - Gulfstream - 1 Mile
19. Citrus Kid - 90 - OC 62k/N2X-N - Gulfstream - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
19. Decisive Moment - 90 - Jean Lafitte Stakes - Delta - 1 Mile
19. Indian Firewater - 90 - San Fernando Stakes (G2) - Santa Anita - 1 1/16 Miles
19. Laysh Laysh Laysh - 90 - Clm 60000(60-50) - Aqueduct - 6 Furlongs (Inner Dirt)
19. Mr Magenta - 90 - Clm 7500N1Y - Aqueduct - 6 Furlongs (Inner Dirt)

*Big Drama's past performances are available at the bottom of this blog posting.  It was a big holiday weekend for the David Fawkes-trained son of Montbrook.  On Saturday afternoon, he broke the six-furlong track record at Gulfstream with a 1:08.12 clocking in the Grade 3 Mr. Prospector Stakes.  Two nights later, his connections took home the Eclipse hardware for best sprinter of 2010.  A winner in 10 of 17 lifetime races, Big Drama is obviously the leader in the sprint division, but keep in mind that he did win the Mr. Prospector in gate-to-wire fashion over a main track that was favoring speed for much of Saturday's races.

Runner-up Custom For Carlos, making his first start back since injuring a hoof early in 2010, ran very well for second (108 Beyer).  He should benefit from the outing.

*Joey P., a newly-turned 9-year-old gelding, is one of the most popular New Jersey-breds in history, and deservedly so.  The son of Close Up has battled adversity throughout his 42-race career.  After winning the 2005 Rutgers Stakes at the Meadowlands, he had chips removed from his knees.  After finishing second in the Grade 3 Gravesend Handicap in 2007, he had problems with his foot.  A respiratory infection kept him out of action after he finished sixth in the Grade 3 Toboggan Stakes in 2009.  Later that year, he had surgery for a twisted intestine.  Hoof problems flared up again after finishing second in the 2010 John J. Reilly Handicap, a race that he had won in 2006, 2008, and 2009. 
Like Rocky Balboa, Joey P. keeps getting off the canvas.  Ridden by Joe Bravo in a $62,500 optional claimer at Gulfstream last week, Joey P. sped to the early lead before being hooked by race favorite Safe Trip on the far turn.  Safe Trip, five years Joey P's junior, poked a head in front in upper stretch, but Joey P. wouldn't be denied.  He roared back along the rail to win by a head.  A 12-time stakes-winner, Joey P.'s biggest victory came in the Grade 3 Jersey Shore Breeders' Cup way back in 2005.  His is the heart, courage, and class of the thoroughbred that we proudly point to when we tell our non-racing friends why we enjoy this game so, so much.

*It may not have been the greatest comeback since Lazarus, but Square Eddie returned from injury, and a season at stud, to punch his ticket to either the Donn Handicap or Santa Anita Handicap.  Away since December 26, 2009 due to a suspensory injury and breathing problems, and after covering 35 mares at Vessels Stallion Farm in California, Square Eddie broke the 6 1/2-furlong track record at Santa Anita last week with a 1:13.11 clocking.  A five-year-old son of Smart Strike, Square Eddie won the Grade 1 Breeders' Futurity over the Keeneland polytrack in 2008, and finished second in that year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile. 

*Tar Heel Mom deserved much better than a 1-6 record in 2010.  The daughter of Flatter missed by a head in the 2010 Sugar Swirl at Gulfstream, was beaten a half-length in the Hurricane Bertie over the Hallandale oval a month later, finished second in the Inside Information at Gulfstream on March 14, and was defeated by three-quarters of a length in the Vagrancy at Aqueduct in May.  After undergoing surgery to correct a condylar fracture in her left hind leg, Tar Heel Mom finished third while giving seven pounds to the streaking Nicole H in the Garland of Roses Handicap to conclude her 2010 campaign.  She started this season with a flourish, gamely winning the Sugar Swirl over hard-trying Hilda's Passion.  Expect to see her back in races like the Hurricane Bertie and Inside Information at this meet. 

*Tapizar grabbed the headlines for three-year-olds with his win in the Grade 3 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita, but a pair of promising sophomores graduated in fast time at the Great Race Place.  Da Ruler, a homebred son of Roman Ruler, won first-out for Bob Baffert on January 16.  His dam, Dirty Diana (by Flying Continental), won the CTBA Stakes at 5 1/2 furlongs for Baffert back in 2003. 
John Shirreffs was represented by maiden winner Mr. Commons in a downhill turf sprint at Santa Anita the previous afternoon.  A $70,000 yearling, Mr. Commons is by Breeders' Cup Mile winner Artie Schiller out of Natalma Stakes heroine Joustabout, making him a half-brother to multiple stakes-winning turf router Jungle Fighter.  Mr. Commons, sixth in his debut over cushion track last year, scored by 5 1/2 lengths, and looks to have a future on turf. 
Albergatti, a game second to Da Ruler, shouldn't be a maiden for long.  The Unbridled's Song colt is trained by Steve Asmussen.

*Although she doesn't have the big numbers of some of her contemporaries, keep an eye out for Wild About Sonny, a three-year-old filly trained by Kelly Breen.  A debut graduate in game fashion over three next-out winners in her lone juvenile start last June, Wild About Sonny returned to the races with another gutsy victory in an entry-level allowance race at Gulfstream on January 13.  By Officer out of a Crafty Prospector mare, she looks and is bred like a sprinter with potential.


I'll change things up this week and get to your questions in Friday's blog. 

Congrats to Lindsay for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling exercise.  She selects Thursday's eighth race at Gulfstream for this week's race.


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. 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.

Best of luck to all

Big Drama.pdf60.01 KB
HG 219.pdf187.18 KB