01/05/2017 1:02PM

Keep an eye on Accelerate

Wet weather knocked Breeders' Cup Classic winner ARROGATE out of the Grade 2 San Pasqual Stakes on New Year's Day, but MIDNIGHT STORM (profiled in the 7/28/16 and 8/25/16 editions of FormBlog - http://www.drf.com/blogs/damato-loaded-turf and http://www.drf.com/blogs/midnight-storm-strong-again) turned in another quality gate-to-wire performance for trainer Phil D'Amato. 
A dual threat on turf and dirt, Midnight Storm's potent early speed usually makes him a tough customer. He ran another nice race, but I'm interested in following the San Pasqual runner-up over the next few months. 
ACCELERATE had a very good 3-year-old season last year for trainer John Sadler. He ran just fine without winning in his first three starts sprinting, but the Lookin At Lucky colt really picked up his game when stretched out around two turns, reeling off three consecutive victories. He hammered maidens going a mile at Del Mar on July 28, then returned to grab the $100,000 Shared Belief Stakes over the same course and distance the following month. That race preceded a hard-fought head victory in the nine-furlong, Grade 2 Los Alamitos Derby.

In the latter two races, Accelerate seemed a little bit green, not uncommon for a relatively inexperienced performer. He seemed to lug in a bit at crucial points of both races. The fact that he still successfully grinded his way to victory hinted at his potential. 

Sadler showed a tremendous amount of confidence in Accelerate in hiking him way up in class for the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. Dismissed at 42 to 1, Accelerate scraped the paint late to finish third, only a neck behind subsequent Grade 1 Clark Handicap winner Gun Runner. 
"It got a little tight down the lane, but I was able to get through there past Dortmund at the end," Accelerate's regular rider, Tyler Baze, told track publicity after the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.  "All this was new to him, getting dirt on his face. I was expecting him to run big and he did."
Accelerate was up against it in the San Pasqual, a paceless short field expected to be dominated up front by Midnight Storm. Accelerate settled at the back of the field, tried to get involved with a three-wide bid in the stretch, and tried very hard all the way to the wire. He finished 1 1/4 lengths shy of the favorite and received a 99 Beyer Speed Figure. 
Despite the defeat, Baze retains supreme confidence in Accelerate. "“He’s going to be a super horse, I really mean that," Baze told track publicity following the San Pasqual. "I think John’s going to try blinkers next time and we’ll try to get him into the race a little sooner. He’s going to be a special horse.”
Accelerate should next race in the Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes. He might have to deal with Midnight Storm once again in that spot, but perhaps the lightly-raced colt can turn the tables. He has a world of upside and is worth watching in graded stakes races at distances up to nine furlongs. 
...I'll ask Dan to add my word document to the next thread. It has miscellaneous information on ROI, Highest Bsf's, HG winning wagers, horsie stuff.. Some may find it interesting...
SR Vegas
Those documents can be found at the bottom of this blog post along with the weekly HG scoresheet. Thanks to Sharon for all of her hard work. 
For free video analysis of some of the weekend's major stakes races, take a look at http://video.drf.com beginning on Thursday afternoon.
Also, Mike Beer, Matt Bernier and I will be on for free and fun handicapping analysis at 4pm ET on Saturday for DRF Live!. This week, we'll discuss Aqueduct, Gulfstream and Santa Anita.. You can find us at live.drf.com.
Plus, there will be a special offer for discounted Timeform US past performances solely for DRF Live viewers.
You can check me out on Twitter at DRF_Dan Illman
Once again, Laura has been kind enough to plan our annual FormBlogger's convention! Here are the details. 
The 6th (or is it 7th) annual Formblogger’s Convention is slated for March 10 – 12 at Gulfstream Park.  
Special room rates at the Hampton Inn will be available & I offer shuttle service to/from Ft. Lauderdale International Airport, which is roughly a 20 min. drive. Sometimes 15 min. if I run the red lights.  I haven’t lost anyone or had an accident…yet.
As usual, our generous benefactor Mike Nyman will comp us a private suite overlooking the track. As usual, there will be laughter, serious discussions, catching up with old friends, not so old friends, and newcomers.  
Bets will be made, won and lost. Indecision, high fives, tears,whining and red boarding may be a part of the process. As usual, the betting machine will malfunction at least once.
As usual, our Fearless Leader Dan Who will join us and quietly cash in on a huge bet. He will also receive risqué blue undergarments suitable for either male or female. 
As usual, a race will be named in our honor & we’ll visit the paddock before the race and have a photo taken in the winner’s circle afterward. 
If you’d like to be a part of the mayhem, please contact Laura at lross@imtbreds.com 
Updates will be posted as the date draws near.
Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 12/28/16 - 1/3/17:
1. MIDNIGHT STORM - 101 - San Pasqual Stakes (G2) - 1 1/16 Miles - 1Jan17-8SA 
2. BELIEVE IN BERTIE - 100 - Pago Hop Stakes - 1 Mile (Turf) - 31Dec16-8FG
2. SQUADRON A - 100 - Mr. Prospector Stakes (G3) - 6 Furlongs - 1Jan17-4GP 
4. HIGH RIDGE ROAD - 99 - Thirty Eight Go Go Stakes - 1 Mile - 31Dec16-7LRL
5. SOLID WAGER - 98 - Midnight Lute Stakes (G3) - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 31Dec16-3SA*
5. ST. JOE BAY - 98 - Midnight Lute Stakes (G3) - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 31Dec16-3SA* 
7. BATTALION RUNNER - 97 - Md Sp Wt 36k - 7 Furlongs - 31Dec16-5GP 
7. POWER ALERT (AUS) - 97 - Turf Dash Stakes - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - 31Dec16-9TAM
9. BIG ZIP - 96 - OC 40k/N2X -N - 6 Furlongs (Inner Dirt) - 1Jan17-8AQU
9. BUSTIN IT - 96 - Clm c-14000N3L - 6 Furlongs (Inner Dirt) - 1Jan17-5AQU
9. SEND IT IN - 96 - Alex M. Robb Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles (Inner Dirt) - 31Dec16-8AQU
12. BOND VIGILANTE - 95 - OC 62k/N2X - 6 Furlongs (Inner Dirt) - 31Dec16-4AQU
12. GIANT RUN - 95 - Tropical Park Derby - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 31Dec16-7GP 
12. GUSTNADO - 95 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 2Jan17-8SA 
12. PEACOCK STRUT - 95 - Alw 10000s - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 2Jan17-7PRX
12. STORMIN MONARCHO - 95 - OC 62k/N2X - 1 Mile 70 Yards (Inner Dirt) - 30Dec16-8AQU
12. TAGHLEEB - 95 - H. Allen Jerkens Stakes - 2 Miles (Turf) - 31Dec16-10GP 
18. DECEMBER SEVEN - 94 - OC 40k/N2X -N - 1 1/16 Miles - 29Dec16-7FG 
18. HEAVEN'S RUNWAY - 94 - Dave's Friend Stakes - 6 Furlongs - 31Dec16-8LRL
18. TOP OF THE GAME - 94 - OC 40k/N1X -N - 1 1/8 Miles - 30Dec16-6SA 
21. DEAD EASY - 92 - OC 40k/N1X -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 31Dec16-7SA 
21. DECKED OUT - 92 - American Oaks (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 31Dec16-8SA 
21. JOHN JONES - 92 - Jennings Stakes - 1 Mile - 31Dec16-5LRL
21. RIVER DATE - 92 - Alw 50000s - 1 1/16 Miles (Inner Dirt) - 30Dec16-2AQU
21. TOO FAST TO PASS - 92 - Clm 32000(32-28) - 6 Furlongs - 1Jan17-3SA 
*Dead-heat for the win
*Midnight Storm's lifetime past performances can be found at the bottom of this blog post. 
*Bustin It was claimed for $14,000 by trainer Raymond Handal from Robert Falcone Jr.
Congrats to Kenny G. for winning the most recent HandiGambling challenge.
Rick M and SR VEGAS' HG scoreboard spreadsheet is available at the bottom of this blog post. 
Let's go with Saturday's Mucho Macho Man Stakes from Gulfstream Park as this week's exercise.
SR Vegas and Rick M. have graciously decided to update all of the HG rules in order to make them an easier read for everyone...
HANDIGAMBLING version 2016:
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 SPARE A SENTENCE OR TWO outlining your HANDICAPPING ANGLES and/or THOUGHT PROCESSES about WAGERING.
1. Start your post with HG or HANDIGAMBLING to find your entry in a thread.
2. You have a mythical $100 to wager in whatever format you choose that is available for that HG race. Anyone going over the $100 limit will be DISQUALIFIED.
3. Post your WAGER and ANALYSIS to the blog prior to the start of the designated race. SIGN OFF WITH YOUR NAME/OR MONIKER AT THE END OF YOUR 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 identify who you are.
4. (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.
5. Separate your analysis from the wager and use the PROGRAM # in your wager. Just like you would do in a real wager. No horse names.
6. If any of the rules listed above aren't met, the wager is subject to review which can lead to disqualification of your entry.
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 "60-Card Quarterly Formulator Past Performance Plan"
As an example :
HG 2016
The speed in this race are #1 Alpha, #2 Beta, and #8 Ocho. I like the works for layoff horse #5 Cinco who can sit off the pace. Lots of speed in here, so this could set up for a closer like  #6 Six Flags and I like the trainer's stats in these conditions. I’ll put the closer over the speed.
HG wager:
$10 EX   6 /   1,2,5, 8  = $40
$5 TRI   6 /   1,2,5,8  /  1,2,5,8  =  $60
Total $100
Thanks Dan!


MidnightStorm.pdf758.54 KB
Copy of HG YEAR END 12 31 16 AMERICAN OAKS.xls55 KB
HG 2016 Winning Wagers.doc21.18 KB
HG 2016 Best Beyer win notes.doc21.34 KB