01/20/2016 5:13PM

Mexikoma back on track


Perhaps MEXIKOMA is ready to tap into the vast potential he showcased as a 2-year-old.

Profiled in the February 26, 2014 edition of FormBlog (http://www.drf.com/blogs/3-year-old-spotlight-and-quick-weekend-thoughts) following a third-place finish in his 3-year-old debut, Mexikoma then came down with a lung infection that knocked him off the Kentucky Derby trail. He finished second in an entry-level allowance race at Pimlico on May 23, but an ankle issue sent him to the sidelines for the remainder of the year.

Reunited with his original trainer, Michael Dilger, for his 4-year-old season last year, Mexikoma compiled a record of 5-2-0-1 including a 100-Beyer Speed Figure score in his comeback race over sloppy going at Belmont. He closed out the campaign with a solid fifth-place finish in the $100,000 Harlan's Holiday Stakes at Gulfstream on December 12. That race had him primed perfectly for a start in last Saturday's $250,000 Sunshine Millions Classic against fellow Florida-breds at nine furlongs.

Sent away the 13 to 10 favorite in the ten-horse field, Mexikoma broke from post position five and was checked and steadied from between horses entering the first turn. Jockey John Velazquez didn't panic, however, and Mexikoma soon settled into a fine spot tracking the lead while three wide over a track that may have favored outside runners. The pacesetter, Grade 3 winner MR. JORDAN, attempted to create separation from the rest of the field by setting sail for home entering the final turn, but Mexikoma didn't let him get too far away. He collared Mr. Jordan in upper stretch and utilized his superior stamina to settle matters inside the furlong marker. Mexicoma completed the distance in 1:48.19 and received a career-best 106 Beyer.

Velazquez realized he dodged a bullet. "Not exactly the way I wanted it," the Hall of Famer told track publicity following the race. "He broke pretty sharply in the first turn and I had to take a little hold of him. I got squeezed out of there on the first turn. I didn’t worry so much because I jumped the heels and I went to the outside and I went to follow Joe Bravo (Mr. Jordan). Once I was there I didn’t worry so much."

Mexikoma has always had ability and it appears that he's reached peak physical maturity as a 5-year-old. He should be followed in graded stakes races around two turns at 8 1/2-9 furlongs.


Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 1/12/16 - 1/18/16:

1. MEXIKOMA - 106 - Sunshine Millions Classic - 1 1/8 Miles - 16Jan16-11GP
2. AMI'S FLATTER - 104 - Alw 38000N1X - 7 Furlongs - 13Jan16-8GP
2. X Y JET - 104 - Sunshine Millions Sprint - 6 Furlongs - 16Jan16-6GP
4. MAJESTIC AFFAIR - 101 - Jazil Stakes - 1 Mile 70 Yards (Inner Dirt) - 16Jan16-3AQU
5. INTERNATIONAL STAR - 100 - Louisiana Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - 16Jan16-7FG
5. MANCHURIAN HIGH - 100 - Sunshine Millions Turf - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 16Jan16-10GP
7. TENIENTE CORONEL - 98 - Fremont Stakes - 1 Mile - 16Jan16-8DED
8. AMELIA'S WILD RIDE - 97 - Sunshine Millions Turf Sprint - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - 16Jan16-7GP
8. HAY DUDE (GB) - 97 - OC 80k/C -N - 1 Mile (Turf) - 14Jan16-7SA
10. KARIBU GARDENS - 96 - OC 75k/C -N - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 16Jan16-8GP
10. NUBIN RIDGE - 96 - OC 62k/N2X - 6 Furlongs (Inner Dirt) - 16Jan16-8AQU
10. SLIM SHADEY (GB) - 96 - OC 62k/N2X - 1 MIle (Tapeta) - 17Jan16-8GG
13. CHOCOLATE RIDE - 95 - Col. E. R. Bradley Handicap (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 16Jan16-10FG
13. DANNHAUSER - 95 - OC 100k/NC - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 13Jan16-5TAM
13. SUBTLE INDIAN - 95 - OC 50k/C -N - 5 1/2 Furlongs - 15Jan16-7OP
16. CERRO (IRE) - 94 - Clm c-40000 - 1 Mile 70 Yards (Inner Dirt) - 16Jan16-7AQU
16. SCRUMPDILICIOUS - 94 - OC25k/SAL16k - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 13Jan16-9GP
16. WIRELESS FUTURE - 94 - OC 62k/N3X -N - 1 1/16 Miles - 15Jan16-2FG
19. SEEKING THE SHERIF - 93 - Clm 50000(50-45) - 6 Furlongs - 15Jan16-6SA
20. EARLY ENTRY - 92 - OC 62k/N2X - 7 Furlongs - 16Jan16-2GP - 16Jan16-2GP
20. KERI BELLE - 92 - Megahertz Stakes (G3) - 1 Mile (Turf) - 18Jan16-8SA
20. LORI'S STORE - 92 - Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 16Jan16-5GP
20. MCHEAT - 92 - OC 62k/N2X -N - About 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - 14Jan16-5SA
20. STREET STRATEGY - 92 - Fifth Season Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - 16Jan16-8OP
20. SOMETHINGS UNUSUAL - 92 - Cotton Fitzsimmons Mile Handicap - 1 Mile (Turf) - 16Jan16-7TUP
20. TEAM COLORS - 92 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 1/16 Miles - 17Jan16-7GP

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

*CERRO was claimed for $40,000 by trainer Patrick Reynolds from Bruce Levine.


all this talk about R Davis has me curious - could you please see if lifetime stats are available, both for him as a jockey and trainer? much appreciated as ever.

Here are the lifetime statistics for Robbie Davis:

24,274 mounts, 3,385 wins (13% winner), 3,366 seconds, 3,108 thirds (40% ITM), $0.83 ROI, $115,743,646 earnings

151 starts, 6 wins (3%), 5 seconds, 8 third (12% ITM), $2.40 ROI, $451,946 earnings.


Video stakes analyses for many of the weekend's major stakes will be available later this week at http://www.drf.com/videos

You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman.

I'll be with Matt Bernier and Mike Beer for live coverage of racing at Gulfstream, Santa Anita Oaklawn and Tampa Bay beginning at 3pm ET at live.drf.com.


Here's a note from SR Vegas concerning an NHC Tournament blog get-together in Las Vegas:

To Everyone:
The 2016 FORMBLOGERS CONVENTION  February 19 - 21 at Gulfstream Park is a wonderful weekend and our Laura does a fantastic job in coordinating all the activities there. Please attend if you can !

As an alternative, I’d also like you to think about The Formblog–mini–West-Coast get-together at The NHC Tournament in Las Vegas.

Dates: January  28-30

If you are coming to town, please raise your hand. I'll be putting together a casual cocktail/dinner meet and greet for our Formblog friends on Jan 27th and a post tournament brunch on  Jan 31 (for those who have later flights that day). Details TBD.

Whether you are a qualifier, friends or family coming to town to root them on, or enjoying your time in Las Vegas, let me know.

Anyone interested ? Please contact me at:



Here's a message from Laura regarding our 2016 FormBlog Convention at Gulfstream Park:

Last Chance for Hotel Reservations!! 
The Formblog/ThoroFan Convention is on February 19 - 21, less than a month away!  If you want to attend, need a room and haven't contacted Laura yet, please do so at lross@imtbreds.com.  Hotel reservations must be made no later than Wednesday, January 27, and the romance package is extra. 

As usual, our generous benefactor Mike Nyman is giving us a suite complete with temperamental betting machine.  There will be a race named for our group with photo ops in the paddock and winners circle.  Laura will pick up/drop off at the Ft. Lauderdale Airport if you don't want to rent a car.  So far, nobody has been killed or injured during the drive.  Can't decide if you want to attend?  Ask other formbloggers what a great time they had! Most are coming back for more!


Congrats to Barbara for winning last week's HandiGambling contest.

We'll go with Saturday's Santa Monica Stakes for this week's exercise.


Rick M's HG scoreboard spreadsheet is 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.

**  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!




MEXIKOMA.pdf653.18 KB
Copy of HG 1 16 16 Sunshine Millions GP.xls16.04 KB
Ned Daly More than 1 year ago
SR Vegas and others I am planning to go to see the "Queen's Plate" (despite how I feel about any kind of "royalty") but the race is not until July 3. Not much could get me to Toronto in January.
DavidM9999 More than 1 year ago
No specific parameters just a vibe that 2016 seemed weaker. Most definitely not scientific just two guys at an OTB making small talk before the races began. It beat talking Trump or Hillary. Thanks for the point and the insight on WO with subtle distinction with ONT breds. I did a quick check of GP’s MSW’s carded on turf so far 2014 v. 2015-16. Basically comparable. I agree racing secretaries write races based on horse population with goal being to fill races to ensure handle that ensures he gets paid. I keep a Gulfstream Turf workbook using a template designed by Steve T. I show 132 turf races that I have tracked to date since the Championship meet began. For 2015-16 the average odds of winners are 7.2-1. Median winning odds are 4.0-1. 37 winning favorites for 28%. For the first 132 grass races of 2014-15 at GP I show the mean at 7.60-1 with median odds of 4.3-1. So not way off over that large of sample with last year actually having better prices using mean and median methods. The course is slow in terms of overall times and come homes in general. In 2014-15 for the first 132 turf races the variance from track record to race time was averaged at 4.76. In 2015-16 it is averaging 5.33. About 3/5 seconds slow across all distances. Stakes winners this year include Solemn Tribute, Charming Kitten, (twice), Golden Euphony, Lira, Life Imitates Art, Jay Gatsby, Sandiva, Heart by Heart, Lori’s Store, and Manchurian High. Last year about same time the list was Mshawish (twice), Mabre Rose, Sky Flight, Irish Mission, Oath, Night Prowler, Devine Aida, Parranda, Manchurain High (repeat), Pink Poppy. Mshawish and Parranda seem better than the 2014-15 winners at this point but outside that nothing notable. The meet will warm up and the course will speed up. Happens every year. The infamous Trouble Kid comes back today at GP. Crossed wire first in 5 of last 6, with 4 stakes wins/placings. BSF’s continuing to climb into the stratosphere since Preciado took over. 59 to 90 first off then 93, 94, 95, 99, and 101 to in last. He now is trained by Chloe Bradley since Ramon is off drinking Margaritas in the Caribbean for a few weeks. I have no idea what Chloe Bradley’s credentials are but her record shows 4-2-1-0. Nice start! Chloe Bradley strangely sounds like a perfume my wife wears. I did a quick fact check on a site called Thoroughbred Rulings.com. Preciado’s history is there. Some “interesting” medication violations were listed. For those bored it is worth a view. Blofeld comes off a lengthy layoff for Todd. Not sure he goes but here are some work notes from DRF if anyone is interested – he has been working with Stanford and holding his own. We all know Stanford from stakes spots early last year. His works have been very solid. A couple got B+’s indicating very positive am performance. The last work had internal splits with a stiff wind helping down lane - 13.74, 12.10, 22.62 and 12.67 for 1:01.13. Puntrooskie at 15-1 ML has been working up a storm both versus the tick tock and doing it the right way.
God Bless Longshots More than 1 year ago
Handicapping Systems - My Take! I have categorized handicapping in two broad areas: 1. Hard Logic 2. Soft Logic Every system which I have seen thus far falls into one of the two. Hard Logic: Any handicapping which is based on numbers whether its velocity handicapping, computer based rating systems and etc. Soft Logic: Most common way where we read DRF/Brisnet PPs on printed paper and study each horse, take mental notes, try to make sense, apply logic and in the end make a judgement call. Like everyone else, I started off with DRF print edition and to this date I use it. I've seen a few computer based handicapping systems first hand - most notably HTR. Last year, just for the fun of it, I developed my own program and spent months and months tried to tailor/customize it based on the soft logic I used to handicap over the years and it does work. Of course every system works with its own limitation. No system is perfect. I personally knew a guy at the track who would use 'numerlogy' to try to come up with the right number in the race and he would have his own fair share of winners as well. What I have found out after trying both areas of handicapping is sometimes it is utterly difficult - if not impossible - to convert logic into any form of meaningful numbers.and I'll give you just one example to back it up. Every day, trainers try various ways to bring their horse into form. They would try different surfaces, different distances, different levels of competitions, equipment changes, cut back, stretch out and etc. The purpose of all this is to somehow bring the horse to winning ways. Sometimes it will work immediately but most of the times trainers would have to keep on trying another things. This example is good enough to convince me that there's no way I can convert it to hard logic. I've also found out that hard logic works better in sprints compared to routes. I think the reason is route races are more about stamina than sprints where speed/velocity is the key and I have no way to gauge horse's stamina. Also, it is more reliable when there are sufficient number of races for each horse for today's distance/surface. To me, three top efforts of each runner is good for a reasonable conclusion on horse's ability for today's distance/surface. Even then there are number of other factors which I simply couldn't convert. For example class drops, level of competition, trainer's intentions and etc. Now, soft logic is not that easy either. To begin with its very tiring, mind draining, and time costly. One of the biggest drawback of soft logic is if you somehow miss out even single piece of information or didn't process it correctly in your mind, it would come and bite you. And then there is always a judgement call where you have to decide which one to drop and we all know how well it normally goes! With time it has become such an ordeal for me that now at age 49, I could handicap only handful of races in a given day. Long gone are the days when I would play three different tracks in a day. Another drawback of soft logic handicapping is it will still take an equal amount of time and energy before you finally decide that 'This race is not for me!'. But then, if its part of mult-race bet, I would have to take Vitamin B-12 pill after handicapping the race. And how about after investing all this time and energy you still come up the damn 1-to-1 shot? If you're playing Aqueduct now a days, its not easy to beat chalks there lately. If you want a brain drain, just try to handicap Race 9 at Aqueduct on Thursday's card. There's tons of stuff to write about both ways of handicapping but perhaps its my 'handicapping upbringing' that I still prefer soft logic using printed PPs. For some races, I would still glance over my hard logic program just to get an idea of how the race looks like especially in sprints whether its on dirt or turf. Here's the best part of soft logic for me: For any race; keep looking, keep reading, keep handicapping with an open mind and without worrying about time and eventually horses WILL talk to you! Its more fun and satisfying to have couple of good handicapped races rather than tons of badly handicapped races! GBL
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
NHC ..if you didn't see Mike Watchmakers thread this week, he has a line in his article that caught my eye. ..."And I wish every horseplayer could have the experience of just being at the NHC if not actually participating in it, because it really is an event with electricity quite unlike anything else ..." He nailed it ! If you are not there, it's hard to explain or experience in words. Add in the camararderie of the contestants and the respect they show for each other. Plus the 'on floor' excitement of races going off all day long....'electricity' for sure ! SR Vegas ...and Chalky :)
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
KNM / NAR -Ned Daly I hope you all get together at Woodbine this weekend. I'd love to see a recap of the outing :) Please post a couple thoughts ! If anyone is interested, I'll do the same during the NHC and share my thoughts at the end of each day. I don't think I'll be able to add much, Especially with the exposure that will be available from all the NHC multi media sources :). I wish the best to: * * Bigeasybigchok (Ben) who qualified 2X this year ** LilChok ( Michael) 2012 NHC Champion and Eclispe award winner. ** Aparagon4u (Lenny) past formblogger who has his own blog ** Scott Carson ( Public Handicapper editor ) who has HG and PH participants here. When I see them , they will get the coveted Formblog " Blue Bag" aka: the casino survival bag :) There were over 500+ that qualified this year , plus the entries for those who had a second qualifier. The largest group and largest awards pool since this NHC started. Dan..you will be missed this year . SR Vegas
God Bless Longshots More than 1 year ago
Cathy "Another interesting question is, which do you think is a better strategy, load lots of great races into six major calendar days per year or spread the quality out over the course of 18 weekends?" Someone like me who like to try to make some money on daily basis would need constant quality every weekend if not daily. Bunching quality on Super Saturdays kill the very purpose. The current Gulf meet is no better than Aqueduct inner meet when it comes to general quality on a daily basis. That's my two cents worth of opinion. GBL
God Bless Longshots More than 1 year ago
Turf Ruler Your involvement in the game is very interesting and so is your rating system. Much of it makes a lot of sense and indeed your top picks constantly show up as you would guess. I did not handicap San Pasqual because I can't bet SoCal Tracks. But by simply looking at the field I would've discarded two horses immediately because I have bet them both couple of times in the past and I was disgusted by the efforts. Those two are HOPPERTUNITY and BLINGO. So minus those two, 'CHROME would look even bigger giant in your system and hence no wonder he crushed the field with ease. I'm also thinking how would your rating system work with races other than stakes - say AlwN1x. Can you exemplify some non-stakes races using your rating system? And how about LOST BUS? He's now a G2 winner. The field was so pathetic that i, as mentioned in my HG comment, had no idea who would win this race. If you look at Aqueduct inner track meet PPs, there are number of races where all of the runners are so bad that I tell myself all the time "Someone gotta win this darn race". How would you come up with the rating under those sitution? Another point I'm trying to make is how do you take into account the 'quality' of the competition in your system? If LOST BUST is to face San Pasqual runners except 'CHROME in next G2 outing, how would you rate him knowing well he just won a very weak G2? Thx GBL
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
KNM, That is perfectly understandable. :) Good luck!!! Annie
sillysusan sillysusan More than 1 year ago
Annie, I can't make a prediction until I see the pps! knm
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mike O, KNM and Okiesharp, You know, the Press is going to want to know what you think of your horse's chances in the Holy Bull on Saturday, so you best be ready. :) Annie