10/06/2009 2:19PM

Mastercraftsman, Arc Runners, MTB, etc.


I don't know who he beat, but Mastercraftsman quietly had a prep over a synthetic this last week. And looked good doing it. It didn't look like he exerted himself so he should be fresh and lively for the Classic. Perhaps our Euro correspondents can weigh in on the performance and field quality.
jim tully

Mastercraftsman earned a 121 Racing Post Rating last Friday for his win as the 2-9 favorite in the Group 3 Diamond Stakes over the All-Weather surface at Dundalk.  Here's what our friends at The Racing Post thought of the performance:

"As a four time Group 1 winner MASTERCRAFTSMAN had an awful lot in hand here and he won accordingly in a race connections picked for him as a trial for the Breeders´ Cup Classic. Held up in third place, he allowed the leaders, Via Galilei and Augustusthestrong, to race 12 lengths ahead of him leaving the back straight, but when asked to close early in the straight he did so with ease, hitting the front one and a half furlongs out before being allowed coast home."

Here's what his trainer, Aidan O'Brien, told The Racing Post after the comfortable victory:

"Mission accomplished. You'd have to be delighted with that. Everything went to plan and there was no pussyfooting out there - they went a good pace. Johnny [Murtagh] was very cool on him and he said that when he asked Mastercraftsman to close, he got to the front almost too soon. He handled the surface and that was what we wanted to find out. We were a bit worried about the distance, but it is very hard to beat class. He's in the Classic and the Mile, so we have the choice. But I would imagine he will go for the Classic. We wanted to come here as we probably made the wrong choice last year by running Duke Of Marmalade instead of here before he went for the Classic. If Rip Van Winkle goes to Santa Anita it will be for the Classic, so the chances are we will run both of them in the race."

A four-time Group 1 winner (Phoenix Stakes and National Stakes at two, Irish 2,000 Guineas, St. James's Palace Stakes at three) between six furlongs and a mile, Mastercraftsman successfully stretched his speed 11 furlongs over the left-handed course.
He is a half-brother to Genuine Devotion, the winner of the Grade 3 Locust Grove Handicap going one mile on turf at Churchill Downs with a 103 Beyer Speed Figure.  Genuine Devotion never raced on synthetics, but she won her maiden by 9 3/4 lengths over Aqueduct's Inner Dirt track going six furlongs with an 86 Beyer.  The dam, Starlight Dreams (by Breeders' Cup Classic winner Black Tie Affair), won twice around two turns (one race at a mile, the other at 8 1/2 furlongs) over Santa Anita's old dirt course.


could i have the pp's for THERMOSTATIC. I saw that she was running at Penn National and i wondered when this daughter of Unusual Heat was shipped out of Southern Cal.

Here's what I have on Thermostatic:

Download Thermostatic


For some comparisons to Sea The Stars, could you post:
Nashwan, Generous, Dubai Millenium, Mill Reef, Lammtarra and Sinndar? 
Pat Copelan

Here's what I have for those runners (Mill Reef is a bit too old for the system):

Download TurfMonsters


Dan, nice going with Pletcher's 2yo. I guess he'll stay on dirt for the time being?

Pletcher noted that he has a lot of options with this horse as he has now run well on both turf and dirt.  I'd like to see him compete in the Nashua at Aqueduct on Breeders' Cup Day.


Has an Arc winner ever won a Breeders Cup race?
Has an Arc runner ever won a BC race?

Dan, can we get the pp's for Bernardini, Curlin, Big Brown and Summer Bird?
Captain Bodgit

Here is the listing of Arc winners that competed in the Breeders' Cup:

1983:  All Along (finished second in the Turf in 1984)
1986:  Dancing Brave (finished fourth in the Turf in 1986)
1987:  Trempolino (finished second in the Turf in 1987)
1990:  Saumarez (finished fifth in the Turf in 1990)
1992:  Subotica (finished fifth in the Turf in 1992)
1995:  Carnegie (finished third in the Turf in 1995)
1999:  Montjeu (finished seventh in the Turf in 2000)
2001:  Sakhee (finished second in the Classic in 2001)
2004:  Bago (finished fourth in the Turf in 2005)
2005:  Hurricane Run (finished sixth in the Turf in 2006)
2007:  Dylan Thomas (finished fifth in the Turf in 2007)

*Arcangues ran up the track in the 1992 Arc, but came back to win the Classic the following year. 
*Shirocco ran fourth in the 2005 Arc, but returned to win the Turf that season.
*High Chaparral ran third in both the 2002 and 2003 editions of the Arc, and won the turf (dead-heat with Johar in 2003) both seasons.
*Fantastic Light was beaten 29 lengths in the 1999 Arc, but won the BC Turf two years later.
*Daylami finished ninth in the 1999 Arc, but returned to win that year's BC Turf.
*Pilsudski ran second in the 1996 Arc, and won the Turf at Woodbine that year.
*Miss Alleged ran eleventh in the 1991 Arc, and won the Turf the same year.
*In the Wings finished sixteenth in the 1989 Arc, ran fourth in the 1990 Arc, and won the 1990 BC Turf.
*Ouija Board ran third in the 2004 Arc, and won the FM Turf that season.
*Islington finished fifth in the 2002 Arc, and won the FM Turf the following year.

It's certainly possible that I've missed a few, but Arc also-rans have done quite well in the Breeders' Cup.

Here's what I have for the runners you requested:

Download HeavyHitters 


Lost in the shuffle of stories surrounding Rachel Alexandra and Sea the Stars is this fella:

Mine That Bird 

(photo - Benoit photo)

You may have heard of him.  He won this year's Kentucky Derby, and he worked 5 furlongs in 1:00.20 this morning at Santa Anita with Joe Talamo aboard.


Let's go with the 7th @ Oak Tree for HG 154.  An Allowance Optional Claimer scheduled for 1 mile on the turf.
Best of luck to all.

Congrats to Brian for finishing first in last week's exercise.  Here are the past performances for HG154:

Download HG154

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.  In the event of a tie, the earliest post gets first preference.  Past performances are available on the previous blog entry.

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.


Talk to you tomorrow.