01/26/2017 6:15PM

Mont Saint Legame and Epicharis

Wagering begins this Friday on the second pool of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager. 
One of the interesting names on the list of 23 individual entrants is Mont Saint Legame (#15, 50 to 1 morning line). 
Undefeated from two starts in Japan, Mont Saint Legame prevailed in the first of two automatic Japanese Kentucky Derby qualifiers, the Cattleya Sho on November 26. A win in the upcoming Hyacinth Stakes at Tokyo on February 19 would guarantee Mont Saint Legame a spot in the starting gate at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May. If he finishes second in the Hyacinth and the Cattleya Sho runner-up, Caucus, doesn't win the race, Mont Saint Legame would still qualify for the Derby. 
In my opinion, the problem for Mont Saint Legame is that he's not as talented as Epicharis, the colt I've written about several times on FormBlog. 
My Japanese is non-existent, but from the bits and pieces I've picked up from various sources, it appeared that Epicharis skipped the Cattleya Sho and the Grade 1 Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun last month due to body and leg soreness. 
Not good.
The promising part is that Epicharis seems to be back in serious training, is nominated to the Triple Crown, and is pointing to not only the Hyacinth, but the UAE Derby on the Dubai World Cup undercard. That's the same two-race road that led Lani to the starting gate in all three of our Triple Crown events last year. 
If Epicharis runs in the Hyacinth, he will likely be the heavy favorite. The Cattleya Sho was a slow race run over a wet track. It's hard to take that result at face value. 
It's easy to like Epicharis as evidenced by his most recent race. He's now 3 for 3, has won from both on the lead and off the pace, and has two wins at nine furlongs. 
He also must answer the same questions that every good 3-year-old is asked this time of year. Was he simply a precocious 2-year-old that won't go on with it this year?  How sound is he? What happens when he faces top-class horses?
Hopefully, we'll find out more on February 19. 
*Spartiatis may not be stakes-class, but the hard-hitting older horse looked good taking an optional claiming event last week at Aqueduct under a $62,500 tag. Hung out three wide in the four path throughout, Spartiatis gave significant ground to a sharp speed horse in Bond Vigilante, yet still reeled in that favored rival in the stretch. 
Trained by veteran conditioner Leon Blusiewicz, Spartiatis was in hidden good form heading into his win. Take out the turf races (he can't stand up on the surface) and some main track races where he was compromised by pace and speedy track biases, and Spartiatis has run deceptively-well. There might be another prize for him in the near future. 
Are you aware of any DRF statistics on the WPS & superfecta finishes for horses with the highest last race Beyer speed figure?
In "The Winning Horseplayer," Andy writes the following: 
“In 1993, as I was writing ‘Beyer on Speed,’ I asked the Daily Racing Form to analyze thousands of races and assess the performances of horses with the top speed figures,” Beyer wrote in a 2007 preface to “The Winning Horseplayer,” one of his many classic tomes on Thoroughbred handicapping. “A $2 bet on each of them would have returned an average of $1.85 — a 7 ½ percent loss. Speed figures remained a vital tool for understanding the game, but my old fears had proved correct. The figures were no longer sufficient to beat the game.”
I'm guessing the winning percentage for the "best last-Beyer" horse would stand at around 25 to 30 percent. 
Dan, totally off topic but I have to say thanks to you and Matt and Mike for the Ft, Lauderdale. Combined their choices for the exacta and put the favorites underneath for the tri. Biggest payoff of my relatively short betting life (10 yrs @ age 50) Should have bet the super but don't want to sound greedy. Love ROTHD videos and watching you guys on Saturdays. I'm a casual/recreational player and you guys are my go to sources. Been to 3 Florida Derbys. Do you think Gulfstream will ever get the Breeders Cup?
Thanks for the kind words and congratulations on your score!  I'd love to see Gulfstream get another Breeders' Cup (it's one of my favorite tracks), but I don't think there's enough seating to hold such an event (although with the prices Gulfstream is charging for Pegasus day - http://www.axs.com/pegasusworldcup, perhaps you don't need a big crowd to turn a buck or two). 
When I've been there for Florida Derby afternoon, it gets really crowded in a hurry. It will be interesting to see how many people show up this Saturday for the Pegasus and if the fan experience is affected negatively. Hopefully, one of our FormBloggers can check in next week with a recap. 
For free video analysis of some of the weekend's major stakes races, take a look at http://video.drf.com/
Also, Mike Beer, Matt Bernier and I will be on for free and fun handicapping analysis at 3pm ET on Saturday for DRF Live!. This week, we'll discuss Aqueduct, Gulfstream and Santa Anita. You can find us at live.drf.com.
You can check me out on Twitter @DRF_Dan Illman.
For up-to-date video releases from DRF, follow DRFTV @Drfvideo.
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.

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone again this year!

Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 1/18/17 to 1/24/17:
1. SPARTIATIS - 99 - 6 Furlongs (Inner Dirt) - OC 62k/N2X - 21Jan17-8AQU
2. GRANNY'S KITTEN - 98 - Col. E. R. Bradley Handicap (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 21Jan17-8FG 
2. HAWAAKOM - 98 - Louisiana Handicap - 1 1/16 Miles - 21Jan17-7FG 
4. EARLY ENTRY - 96 - Sunshine Millions Sprint - 6 Furlongs - 21Jan17-6GP 
5. GRAND CANDY - 95 - OC 40k/N2X -N - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - 20Jan17-6FG 
5. OUR WAY - 95 - Sunshine Millions Turf - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 21Jan17-11GP 
7. BALLAGH ROCKS - 94 - OC 100k/C -N - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 20Jan17-3GP 
7. FINEST CITY - 94 - Santa Monica Stakes (G2) - 7 Furlongs - 21Jan17-5SA 
9. HOLY BOSS - 93 - Duncan F. Kenner Stakes - 6 Furlongs - 21Jan17-5FG 
10. KEYSTONEFORVICTORY - 92 - OC35k/SAL25k - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 20Jan17-9GP 
10. WILDCAT WISH - 92 - Fremont Stakes - 1 Mile - 21Jan17-8DED
12. BISTRAYA - 91 - OC 40k/N1X -N - 7 Furlongs - 21Jan17-8SA 
12. HY RIVERSIDE - 91 - Sunshine Millions Classic - 1 1/8 Miles - 21Jan17-12GP 
12. KITTEN'S ROAR - 91 - Marie G. Krantz Memorial Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 21Jan17-10FG 
12. REDESDALE - 91 - Alw 43276N1X - 6 Furlongs - 20Jan17-7FG 
16. QUIJOTE - 90 - OC 80k/N3X -N - 5 1/2 Furlongs - 22Jan17-6FG
17. HARPOON - 89 - Alw 51250N1X - 1 Mile 70 Yards - 24Jan17-7PRX
17. MASTER PLAN - 89 - OBS Championship Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles (Safetrack) - 24Jan17-11OTC
17. MIA TORRI - 89 - Sunshine Millions Distaff - 6 Furlongs - 21Jan17-4GP 
17. NO FAULT OF MINE - 89 - Wayward Lass Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - 21Jan17-7TAM
21. BATTLE OF MIDWAY - 88 - Md Sp Wt 54k - 6 Furlongs - 21Jan17-7SA 
21. FOREST MOUSE - 88 - Winsham Lad Stakes - 1 Mile - 21Jan17-9SUN
21. MY GIRL COREY - 88 - OC 16k/N1X -N - 1 Mile (Turf) - 21Jan17-10GP 
21. SPIRIT RULES - 88 - Clm 25000(25-22.5) - 6 Furlongs (Tapeta) - 22Jan17-1GG 
21. TAKREES - 88 - Interborough Stakes - 6 Furlongs (Inner Dirt) - 22Jan17-8AQU
21. UNCLE B - 88 - OBS Sprint Stakes - 6 Furlongs (Safetrack) - 24Jan17-9OTC
*The lifetime past performances for Spartiatis are available at the bottom of this blog post.
Congrats to Professor Molesap 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 Pegasus World Cup from Gulfstream 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 2017:
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!


Copy of HG 1 21 17 LeComte.xls48.5 KB