10/27/2016 1:06PM

A masterful debut

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It appears that Bob Baffert has another good 2-year-old lurking in his barn. 
 
MASTERY's pre-debut workout reports were sparkling and he was no secret as the listed 4 to 5 morning line chalk for the fifth race at Santa Anita last Saturday. Pounded down to 3 to 10 at the windows, Mastery made the price look like a bargain with an authoritative 4 1/4-length gate-to-wire victory. 
 
Mastery broke on top under Rafael Bejarano and raced the opening quarter mile in 22.03. Entering the turn, he faced a determined bid from SHEER FLATTERY, the 7 to 2 second choice. Mastery never let Sheer Flattery get closer than the saddle towel, however, and he lengthened his advantage under moderate urging in the stretch. Mastery completed six furlongs in 1:09.56 and received a 92 Beyer Speed Figure. Sheer Flattery was second, 9 1/2-lengths better than third-finisher STONE HANDS. 
 
A $425,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase, Mastery is a Candy Ride half-brother to stakes-winning router Clear Sailing. The winning dam, Steady Course (by Old Trieste), is a half-sister to juvenile Grade 2 stakes-winning sprinter Jump Start. The second dam was Grade 2-placed sprinting at two and the third dam is a full sister to Group 1 winner, and successful sire, Miswaki. 
 
Baffert has already mentioned the $100,000 Bob Hope Stakes at seven furlongs on November 19 as a possible next race for Mastery. It must be noted that Mastery skipped away over a speed-friendly track at Santa Anita, but it appears there is some serious talent here. 
 
*I'm not sure what BABY BEAR'S SOUP had for breakfast on Tuesday morning, but the gelding devoured a field of conditioned claimers at Parx for lunch. 
 
The 3-year-old son of Big Brown was claimed away from Todd Pletcher for $25,000 by trainer David Jacobson on August 13 and had failed to win in his first two starts for his new barn (Beyers of 74 and 80). At Parx, Baby Bear's Soup rolled away to a 13 1/4 length victory against $40,000, "N3L" sellers and received a 98. 
 
Is he a new horse? Did he simply feast on weak competition? 
 
Stay tuned. If Jacobson has, all of a sudden, gotten to the bottom of Baby Bear's Soup, the Claiming Crown series at Gulfstream might be beckoning. 
 
*EPICHARIS, the Japanese 2-year-old I'm following (http://www.drf.com/blogs/next-lani), might start on November 1 in the Grade 3 Hokkaido Nisai Yushun at nine furlongs at Mombetsu. A good performance there puts him on track for the Cattelya Sho, the first of two Kentucky Derby qualifying races in Japan. That race will be contested over a mile at Tokyo Racecourse on November 26. 
 
*There are two graded stakes races at Belmont on Saturday, but I'm most interested in the $100,000 Awad Stakes for 2-year-olds on the turf. ROYAL BY NATURE (7) might not offer enough value as he's the 3 to 1 morning line favorite, but the Irish-bred has shown a nice burst of speed in his races. He tasted defeat for the first time most recently in the Grade 3 Bourbon at Keeneland, but was in and among horses on the backstretch before unleashing a premature four-wide bid entering the far turn. He stayed on gamely for fourth and might be worth following for trainer Brad Cox.
 
*You can access free video analysis of some of the weekend's top races beginning Thursday late afternoon at http://video.drf.com/
 
Matt Bernier, Mike Beer and I will be on for free and fun live handicapping analysis at 3pm ET on Saturday. You can find us at live.drf.com. This week, we'll cover Belmont, Keeneland, Woodbine and Santa Anita.
 
You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman.
 
*Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 10/19/16 - 10/25/16
 
1. BAR OF GOLD - 109 - Empire Distaff Handicap - 1 1/16 Miles - 22Oct16-8BEL
2. ROCA ROJO (IRE) - 104 - Athenia Stakes (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 23Oct16-8BEL
3. MUQTASER - 101 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 1/16 Miles - 21Oct16-8BEL
4. NIGHT PROWLER - 100 - OC 100k/C -N - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 19Oct16-8BEL
4. ROYAL POSSE - 100 - Empire Classic Handicap - 1 1/8 Miles - 22Oct16-10BEL
6. DICKINSON - 99 - OC 100k/C -N - 1 Mile (Turf) - 20Oct16-8BEL
7. BABY BEAR'S SOUP - 98 - Clm 40000N3L - 7 Furlongs - 25Oct16-4PRX
8. ACCEPTANCE - 97 - California Flag Handicap - About 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - 22Oct16-4SA
8. PHLASH PHELPS - 97 - Maryland Million Turf - 1 Mile (Turf) - 22Oct16-7LRL
8. SMALL FORTUNE -  97 - Alw 26496N$Y - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - 22Oct16-6HAW
11. ANNULMENT - 96 - Alw 68596N3Y - 1 1/16 Miles - 21Oct16-3KEE
11. DRAGON BAY - 96 - English Channel Stakes - 1 Mile (Turf) - 23Oct16-7BEL
11. GREAT STUFF - 96 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 19Oct16-7BEL
14. ASCEND - 95 - Alw 64825N3X - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 19Oct16-7KEE
15. CONQUEST TSUNAMI - 94 - OC 62k/C -N - 6 Furlongs (Tapeta) - 19Oct16-6WO 
15. QUEZON - 94 - Iroquois Stakes - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 22Oct16-3BEL 
15. RENOWN (GB) - 94 - Sycamore Stakes (G3) - 1 1/2 Miles (Turf) - 20Oct16-8KEE
15. SERBIAN SYCLONE - 94 - OC 40k/N1X - About 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - 23Oct16-9SA 
15. THE TRUTH OR ELSE - 94 - OC 100k/C -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 23Oct16-7KEE
15. WAR OF IDEAS - 94 - Md Sp Wt 75k - 7 Furlongs (Turf) - 19Oct16-6BEL
21. BREAKIN THE FEVER - 93 - Hudson Handicap - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 22Oct16-4BEL
21. BROTHER PAT - 93 - Alw 32000s - 1 1/4 Miles (Tapeta) - 21Oct16-2WO 
21. DECISION DAY - 93 - OC 62k/C - 1 1/8 Miles (Tapeta) - 22Oct16-9WO 
21. ELEKTRUM (IRE) - 93 - Dowager Stakes (G3) - 1 1/2 Miles (Turf) - 23Oct16-8KEE
21. MASTERY - 93 - Md Sp Wt 53k - 6 Furlongs - 22Oct16-5SA 
21. W B AND ME - 93 - Alw 20700N$Y - 1 1/16 Miles - 20Oct16-7HAW
 
Bar of Gold's lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post. 
 
*Congrats to Ron Z 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 Bold Ruler from Belmont for this week's exercise. 
 
PAST PERFORMANCES ARE AVAILABLE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS BLOG POST.
 
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!
Harpo
 
A MORE DETAILED ANALYSIS  IS  ALWAYS  APPRECIATED !
REMEMBER, IF YOU ARE DECLARED THE WINNER OF THE HANDIGAMBLING EXERCISE; PLEASE CONTACT FORMBLOG@DRF.COM WITH YOUR DRF LOGIN AND PASSWORD IN ORDER TO ACCESS YOUR PRIZE PACKAGE.
 
ALSO, IF THE WINNER WOULD LIKE TO SELECT THE FOLLOWING WEEK'S RACE, PLEASE CONTACT FORMBLOG@DRF.COM NO LATER THAN THE FOLLOWING WEDNESDAY MORNING (A SATURDAY RACE IS MOST IDEAL)
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BAR OF GOLD.pdf757.09 KB
Copy of HG 10 22 16 RavenRun.xls53.5 KB
HGBOLDRULER.pdf213 KB