03/26/2014 5:15PM

Looking for some Luck


THE FUGUE is the kind of horse that deserves more press.

Sure, the 5-year-old mare has banked over $2.6M, owns three Group 1 victories (Nassau Stakes, Yorkshire Oaks, Irish Champion Stakes) and has cracked the trifecta in two Breeders' Cup events.

If not for some bad luck, however, her record would look even better.

The Fugue was bet to 8-5 favoritism in the 2012 Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita based on a rock-solid English campaign (third in the Epsom Oaks, second in the Ribblesdale, won the Nassau, necked in the Yorkshire Oaks). Ridden by William Buick, The Fugue was buried inside until the quarter pole. Buick then hoped to split rivals by easing out, but he was stymied by a wall of horses. Finally, in late stretch, The Fugue shook clear nearer to the inside. It was too late, however, as she ran out of racetrack. She finished third, beaten 1 1/2 lengths by Zagora, but was probably best.

Last year, The Fugue bypassed the Filly and Mare Turf to try the boys in the Breeders' Cup Turf. It was a very logical decision considering The Fugue had just whipped males in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown, and she was sent away the 3-2 favorite in the 12-horse field.

The pace was very hot by Breeders' Cup Turf standards (24.02, 46.94, 1:10.67) and The Fugue went for home a bit early after Little Mike attempted to break the race open entering the third turn. The Fugue put away Little Mike and Vagabond Shoes in upper stretch, but was run down in the shadow of the wire by the more patiently-handled Magician.

The Fugue hoped to end her 2013 campaign on a high note in the Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin on December 8, but another tough trip forced her to settle for bridesmaid status. This time, Buick had her in and among horses from the get-go, and The Fugue was shuffled back to last entering the straight. She finally eased widest in upper stretch and came with a big late kick, but couldn't run down Dominant, who simply got the jump.

This Saturday, on the Dubai World Cup undercard, The Fugue will try again. She is entered in the Dubai Duty Free at nine furlongs, a distance that may be a bit short for her. She'll also face a salty field that includes Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf heroine Dank, the undefeated Vercingetorix, and Grade/Group 1 winners Anaerobio (Argentina), Blazing Speed (Hong Kong), Hunter's Light (UAE), Just a Way (Japan) and Longtype (Japan).

It won't be an easy task, but if you give The Fugue a fair trip, she'll make her presence felt.


Chitu and We Miss Artie received all of the accolades last week, as well as 50 Kentucky Derby points, but another very promising colt broke his maiden in an absolute romp. Let’s take a closer look.
BAY OF PLENTY (Medaglia d'Oro - Kotuku, by A.P. Indy)

*FOAL DATE, STATE: February 7, 2011, Kentucky
*TRAINER: Kiaran McLaughlin
*BREEDER: Darley
*OWNER: Darley Stable
*LAST RACE:  1st Maiden Special Weight, 1 1/16 Miles, Aqueduct Inner Dirt, March 22, 93 Beyer
*DP = 9-12-17-2-0 (40) DI = 2.81   CD = 0.70

A Darley stable homebred trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, Bay of Plenty spread-eagled a field of eight maidens traveling 1 1/16 miles last Saturday over the Aqueduct inner dirt.

Making his third lifetime start, Bay of Plenty bobbled slightly after breaking from the far outside post, but showed good speed and agility to grab the lead from the two-path. Bay of Plenty cleared to the inside entering the backstretch and set fractions of 23.59 and 47.80 under jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. Entering the final turn, Bay of Plenty had his nearest pursuer, Profluent, off the bridle, and he began to open up following six furlongs in 1:12.78. Ortiz kept busy on Bay of Plenty in the stretch and the colt crossed the wire 7 1/4 lengths better than runner Goodnewsisnonews. Bay of Plenty completed the distance in 1:43.86 and received a 93 Beyer Speed Figure.

Bay of Plenty is by top stallion Medaglia d'Oro, who won seven graded races over a four-year career. Medaglia d'Oro's big victories came in the Grade 1 Travers Stakes at 1 1/4 miles, the Grade 1 Whitney Handicap at 1 1/8 miles, and the Grade 1 Donn Handicap at nine furlongs. Medaglia d'Oro also finished second in such Grade 1 mainstays as the Belmont Stakes, Breeders' Cup Classic (twice), Dubai World Cup, Pacific Classic and Wood Memorial Stakes. Medaglia d'Oro prevailed at distances ranging from 6-10 furlongs and received a career-best 120 Beyer when a 13 3/4-length winner of the Grade 2 Jim Dandy Stakes at 1 1/8 miles.

Medaglia d'Oro is best known as the sire of Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra, but he has also produced North American Grade 1 winners Champagne d'Oro, C. S. Silk, Gabby's Golden Gal, Lochte, Marketing Mix, Plum Pretty,  Violence and Warrior's Reward.

Bay of Plenty is a half-brother to Fortify, a Distorted Humor colt that finished third in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes at one mile. Their dam, Kotuku (by A.P. Indy), only placed once from five starts, but she hails from an extremely classy female. Kotuku is a full sister to Grade 3-placed router Anasheed and is a half-sibling to European stakes-placed turf performers Dubai Belle and Marhoob. Dubai Belle is the dam of Grade 1 Ashland Stakes winner Little Belle.

Bay of Plenty's second dam, Flagbird (by Nureyev), was a Group 1 winner in Italy. Flagbird is kin to multiple Grade 1 route winner Prospectors Delite (dam of multiple Grade 1 route winner Tomisue's Delight and Horse of the Year Mineshaft), Grade 1 route winner Runup the Colors, Grade 2 sprint winner Top Account, stakes-winning sprinter Fold the Flag, and stakes-winners Allied Flag and Long View. The third dam, Up the Flagpole (by Hoist the Flag), scored the Grade 2 Delaware Oaks.

Bay of Plenty didn't start at two. He finished second in his career debut on New Year's Day, a six-furlong maiden special weight at Gulfstream. That afternoon, he broke slowly and attempted to rally over a speed-favoring track. He received a good education, taking dirt in his face while racing along the inside before angling wider on the turn. He seemed a bit green, but galloped out well after the fact and was flattered when the third-finisher returned to graduate with an 81 Beyer.

The following month, McLaughlin gave Bay of Plenty the opportunity to stretch out in distance and he tackled next-out Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby winner Ring Weekend. Bay of Plenty was hung out four wide on the final turn yet was only beaten 1 1/2 lengths for the win.

Bay of Plenty has a lovely stride, a beautiful route-oriented pedigree, and is improving with every start. He does need to work on his break as he has a tendency to be caught flat-footed at the opening bell. While it is probably too late for him to make an impact on the Triple Crown trail, he looks like one to watch for later in the year.


Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures (3/17/14 - 3/23/14):

1. ROMANSH - 106 - Excelsior Stakes (G3) - 1 1/8 Miles (Inner Dirt) - Aqueduct
2. CHITU - 102 - Sunland Derby (G3) - 1 1/8 Miles - Sunland
2. GROUND TRANSPORT - 102 - Harrison E. Johnson Memorial Stakes - 1 1/8 Miles - Laurel
4. JAKE MO - 98 - OC 50k/C -N - 6 Furlongs - Oaklawn
4. PROHIBITION - 98 - OC 30k/N2X -N - 1 1/16 Miles (Inner Dirt) - Aqueduct
6. WARREN'S KNOCKOUT - 97 - Bill Thomas Memorial Stakes - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Sunland
7. DANCE INTHE FOREST - 96 - OC 25k/N1X - 6 Furlongs - Oaklawn
7. GHOST IS CLEAR - 96 - Hansen Starter Handicap - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Turfway
7. HEART STEALER - 96 - Inside Information Stakes (G2) - 7 Furlongs - Gulfstream
7. SENSATIONAL SLAM - 96 - OC 50k/N2X - 6 Furlongs (Inner Dirt) - Aqueduct
11. FIRE WITH FIRE - 95 - San Luis Rey Stakes (G2) - 1 1/2 Miles (Turf) - Santa Anita
11. HALO DOLLY - 95 - Dream of Summer Stakes - 1 Mile - Santa Anita
11. PALATINE HILL - 95 - Clm 20000 - 1 Mile - Gulfstream
14. SCHOOLYARD DREAMS - 94 - Alw 16000s - 6 Furlongs (Inner Dirt) - Aqueduct
15. BAY OF PLENTY - 93 - Md Sp Wt 65k - 1 1/16 Miles (Inner Dirt) - Aqueduct
15. CRAFTY CONCORDE - 93 - Alw 8000s - 1 Mile 70 Yards - Parx
15. ZANE - 93 - OC25k/SAL25k - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Gulfstream
18. ARBORVILLE - 92 - Clm 35000(35-30) - 6 Furlongs - Oaklawn
18. DRUNKEN LOVE - 92 - OC20k/SAL20k - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - Gulfstream
18. I'M STEPPIN' IT UP - 92 - OC 100k/C -N - 1 Mile - Calder
18. JIMMY SIMMS - 92 - OC 40k/N2X - 1 Mile (Turf) - Fair Grounds
18. RANGI (GB) - 92 - Alw 61686N1X - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Santa Anita
18. SPIRIT RULES - 92 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 6 Furlongs - Santa Anita
24. DO NOT ENTER - 91 - OC c-75k/N1X - 6 Furlongs - Hawthorne
24. ENGLISH CLASS - 91 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Gulfstream
24. GLACKEN TOO - 91 - OC 75k/N1X -N - 6 Furlongs - Oaklawn
24. MONUMENT HILL - 91 - Clm 50000(50-40) - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Gulfstream
24. PEACENIK - 91 - Clm 16000(16-14) - 6 Furlongs - Santa Anita
24. STORMY RUSH - 91 - OC 62k/N2X - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - Gulfstream

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

*Do Not Enter was claimed for $75,000 by trainer Tammy Domenosky from Larry Rivelli.


Can you post these two Trakus screen captures to this board? It is a horse that I found “conventionally” through watching races but now that I am using Trakus it becomes very clear in my mind why I was on watch for next out. Take a look at his December 19 race where he finished 5th, but look at his come home time and how many feet farther he raced. Then next out he took on Major Marvel (no small task) and he beat him, easily, and he had the best come home and he traveled farther than anyone other than the one who trailed the field (how can you trail the entire f’ing field and manage to go farther than any other horse in the race…). I think the pony in my run-up research may very well be Trackus...
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 TBTA 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.

TBTA selects Saturday's Louisiana Derby for this week's exercise.


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.

ROMANSH.pdf614.48 KB
HeyLeroyTrakus2.JPG48.69 KB
HeyLeroyTrakus.JPG55.67 KB
Copy of Formblog Spiral Stakes 3-22-14.xls71 KB
HGLADERBY.pdf174.42 KB
Okiesharp More than 1 year ago
Horseplayers I really liked last nights episode. It made me laugh out loud several times. Now folks, that's entertainment...... As far as someone blowing smoke up your lower backside, well hell, just read this blog.....:)... wouldn't be the first time someone has been accused of using voodoo to pick winners either. A few of the bloggers here could qualify as a writer for the show.....:) Okiesharp
Jackson Jackson More than 1 year ago
Mike - I did say something like that . The truth is I was going to say something about PM a day or two earlier but I deleted it :) I said to myself ... Self if you write that people might think you're trying to nitpick AZWs opinion of PM ... so I deleted it . I put it back later kind of like a little transition move . Totally discreet . Dude hardly ever places and he never shows ...plus he runs in better races and he's almost always the favorite . I reckon yer system is unfair to Dude . PM gets to rack up $4 wins in gr.IIs that don't have any graded stakes winners and Dude gets his $4 wins in The Big Leagues ? I like the Fair Point System better :) but............. I have another system called The More Fair system ... Follow along with me ... We've already established and stipulated that winning 3 of the 5 Open company 10 furlong Gr. I races in this country plus winning the richest 9 furlong open company race is NOT enough to be considered dominant .... Therefore Pal Mal has to win at least 4 of the 5 open 10 F Gr. I races and the richest 9 f race to be considered dominant ... Whereas if he doesn't I win :) I'm just funnin' ya Mike ... I don't care how you keep the score ... except Gr II for less than 1.5 mil have to count negative . I'm pretty sure PM will turn out to be another Graydar or CrossTraffic anyway . A cut rate 2nd rate runner that's already about 1 for 6 vs. Gr. I company of any kind anyway. I don't really care about PM Mike... He's a horse that's never going down in the book or making the HOF. The Book he's going to be going down in is the unwritten book of obscure Belmont stake winners :) With Da Tara , Sarava, ROI, Jazil , Dixie Rags , Commendable , Danzig Connection , Colonial Affair .... you get the picture :) JJ
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
OK, "Horseplayers" . Was funny as I expected. Lee Davis did try to give a little reasoning behind his bets, and did qualify. Apparently the voodoo mojo did help. :) Got to get me some of that. Ben? Mike? :) Annie
mike turfmonstr More than 1 year ago
JJ, and go back and read what I wrote....I never said you were backing Steve's play...you said "Since no one interjected you would"...I just said why would anyone interject...Steve doesn't need the help.....of course not in those words but that was the gist.........Look before you leap.....you must be feeling froggy......Mike A
mike turfmonstr More than 1 year ago
JJ, When you started talking about Pool you lost me.....so if i missed something don't take it to heart.....and I said the bet would be Mythical...I'm sure you can play 200 across in funny money......I don't need the betting exploits, we all have them.....Betting real money makes for hard feelings......funny money is just for bragging rights, Besides you might win, after all Dullahan beat Dude when Dullie was 3, PM finished ahead of Dude in the classic at three, Dullie faded out at 4 so if everything stays the same PM should run behind Dude this year. Make it easy....whoever finishes ahead of the other, finish position doesn't matter......no money, that should be OK, If you like him that much .....Mike A
Chris Larkin More than 1 year ago
I agree with Anonymous' post from Sunday about takedowns. We will get nowhere, however, so the less said, the better.
Jackson Jackson More than 1 year ago
Just since we're on the subject ... Clubhouse just got beat less than half length @ 39-1 by the horse you said ran the best race on Big Cap day Mike. Are you saying any of those guys from NOH can do better going 7 f vs. Sahara Sky ? Are you saying any of those guys can be right there with Obviously down the hill ? Are you saying they can run with Comma to the Top in a sprint ? Are you saying any of those guys could be undefeated in head to head match-ups with Ron the Greek between 9-10 furlongs ? Are you saying that any of those guys could get anywhere near sniffing a placing in the Big Cap ? Clubhouse can do all that different stuff Mike ... because he's 10 times the horse any of those guys PM just beat are. He likes a bullring too :) because he's nimble . JJ
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MKB UPDATE: No unexpected entries in the Wood and Santa Anita Derby, but an interesting addition in the Bay Shore: BERNARD DOWNES' Coup de Grace!!!! He will join: DANNY B'S Kobe's Back and TOM W'S Financial Mogul. NANCY B'S Havana did not enter as speculated. Will put up the lists when odds are determined. Annie
Turnbackthealarm More than 1 year ago
For what it's worth, I am always astonished by the wins of Palace Malice based on the way he runs. He has a terrible looking front end from the side. His shoulder is a bit upright, he doesn't reach out much with his front legs and his head is a bit high. Everytime I watch him in the final 1/8th, I think he is going to lose action and then stop. I've never been able to bet on him because of that "look" or way of going in deep stretch. So, it begs the questions, is his hind end more than powerful enough to overcome his weak front end, is the competition absolutely gasping due to lack of stamina breeding so it doesn't matter or am I blind? Whatever the answer is, I love Cot Campbell and Dogwood Stables, so I root for Palice Malice when he's running. I root for Game On Dude despite his trainer. Racing needs it's handicap division, especially the older geldings who have a fan base.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LOL!!!!! I haven't even seen tonight's episode of "Horseplayers" yet and I'm already laughing. Just read the info, and the Rotundo team will be consulting a voodoo priestess in New Orleans in an effort to get an edge. ROFLMAO!!!!! Apparently we've been doing this horseracing thing all wrong. We need pyramids, magnets, crystals and help from a voodoo priestess in order to make money and go to the NHC. :) Annie