10/20/2016 1:29PM

The next Lani?

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In the September 15 edition of FormBlog, I gave my thoughts on the partnership between Churchill Downs and the Japan Racing Association that allows one Japanese-trained 3-year-old a berth in the 2017 Kentucky Derby field.
 
I also mentioned a promising Japanese 2-year-old colt. 
 
 
I'm still not crazy about the arrangement, but remain impressed with EPICHARIS.
 
From a purely business perspective, the deal makes sense to both sides. After LANI, the Japanese-trained UAE Derby winner, acquitted himself quite well in all three legs of this year's Triple Crown series, Japanese horsemen are itching for the opportunity to enter the Derby with a more professional, more tactical colt. The Churchill deal gives them a chance to prepare their horses at home without facing our top North American runners in conventional American prep races.
 
Churchill Downs, as I mentioned in the previous blog, will try to squeeze their foot in the door as it pertains to the Japanese betting market. Whether that objective will be reached is another story, entirely. I have my doubts. 
 
Last weekend, Epicharis made his first start against winners in the one-mile Platanus Sho at Tokyo, basically an 'N2L' for 2-year-olds. Cutting back a furlong over the track and distance of the first Kentucky Derby qualifying race next month, the Cattleya Sho, Epicharis didn't break as smoothly as he did in his debut. 
 
He was maneuvered to the inside under Christophe Lemaire and took some dirt in his face. Lemaire sharply altered course to the outside as the field straightened away into the stretch and Epicharis did the rest. The colt cruised up to the leaders under no encouragement, surged past them when Lemaire moved his arms and lengthened away when popped once with a right-handed whip. The final winning margin was seven lengths and Epicharis completed the distance in 1:37.7. That time compared favorably to a one-mile allowance race for older horses earlier on the Tokyo card. Fuji Gokai, a 4-year-old, captured that heat in 1:38.40.
 
Epicharis has now won from on the lead and from off the pace. He rates kindly, changes leads smoothly and runs right through the wire. It can be argued that he is a better prospect now than Lani was at this time last year. From a timing perspective, a tilt in the Cattelya Sho fits beautifully into the schedule. 
 
That race, if Epicharis does run there, will obviously be his acid test. If he does perform well and accumulate points, he'd have jumped one hurdle on his way to the Kentucky Derby. 
 
Stay tuned.
 
*One of these days, WAKE FOREST is going to catch some pace. The winner of the Grade 1 Man o'War Stakes at Belmont on May 14, Wake Forest has run well in his last two starts at Woodbine. 
 
First, the Grade 1 Northern Dancer Turf at 12 furlongs on September 17:
 
 
I don't believe that 12 furlongs is Wake Forest's best game. He seems like a 1 1/4-mile type that can stretch to 11 or 12 panels against the right field with the right circumstances. He certainly couldn't win the Northern Dancer considering the glacial fractions set by WORLD APPROVAL. Wake Forest tried hard in the stretch, but the combination of THE PIZZA MAN's greater stamina and tactical speed sealed his fate. 
 
Chad Brown and company hoped that the pace would be honest in last Sunday's Grade 1 Canadian International, also at 1 1/2 miles. While they did go a second faster to the 6-furlong mark, a clocking of 1:18.80 isn't going to have midpack runners or closers licking their chops. Javier Castellano did what he could with a clean ride and trip, but Wake Forest couldn't step late with two European invaders used to racing in such conditions. 
 
 
Wake Forest should be followed in low-level Grade 1 or Grade 2 races in the near future. Cutting back in distance in a race with some hitting up front should serve him very well. 
 
*Hello everyone!
Hey Dan if it’s possible could you on our next post could show last 20 winners pp’s of the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Just want to check something out. Thank you! You’ll get an imaginary gold star from me!...
Phil D
 
The past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post. Let us know what you find out.
 
*MICHEL DE BOTTON tweets:
@DRF_DanIllman Dan, with the passing of a great warrior and a personal favorite can you post the lifetime performances of Quiet American
 
They're at the bottom of this blog post. I distinctly remember being there live for his NYRA Mile win in 1990.
 
*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 and I will be on for free and fun live handicapping analysis at 2pm ET on Saturday. You can find us at live.drf.com. This week, we'll cover Belmont, Keeneland, Laurel and Santa Anita. 
 
You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman.
 
*Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 10/12/16 - 10/18/16

1. ERUPT (IRE) - 103 - Canadian International (G1-C) - 1 1/2 Miles (Turf) - 16Oct16-9WO 
2. BANDWIDTH - 99 - OC 25k/N2X -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 16Oct16-9PRX
2. CALGARY CAT - 99 - Nearctic Stakes (G2-C) - 6 Furlongs (Turf) - 16Oct16-6WO 
2. ITSINTHEPOST (FR) - 99 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 14Oct16-5SA 
2. TIME AND MOTION - 99 - Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 15Oct16-9KEE
2. STORMY LIBERAL - 99 - Clm c-(40-35) - About 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - 16Oct16-6SA
7. MR. BAKER - 98 - OC 62k/C - 6 Furlongs - 12Oct16-6GPW
7. VISION PERFECT - 98 - OC 80k/C -N - 7 Furlongs (Turf) - 14Oct16-8BEL
9. AL'S GAL - 97 - E. P. Taylor Stakes (G1-C) - 1 1/4 Miles (Turf) - 16Oct16-8WO 
10. MR. JORDAN - 96 - Alw 93600NC - 1 Mile 70 Yards - 17Oct16-8PRX
11. COALPORT - 94 - Alw 60427C - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 15Oct16-7KEE
11. HE WILL - 94 - OC 40k/N1X -N - 1 Mile (Turf) - 15Oct16-7SA 
11. THUNDERING SKY - 94 - Pebbles Stakes - 1 Mile (Turf) - 15Oct16-8BEL
14. MISS ELLA - 93 - Franklin County Stakes (G3) - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - 14Oct16-9KEE
14. PLAINVIEW - 93 - OC 62k/N2X - 7 Furlongs (Turf) - 15Oct16-6BEL
14. YOCKEY'S WARRIOR - 93 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 15Oct16-8KEE
17. BLACKOUT (FR) - 92 - Alw 77000N1X - 1 Mile (Turf) - 14Oct16-2BEL
17. GOT EVEN - 92 - OC 40k/N1X -N - 1 1/16 Miles - 15Oct16-8SA 
17. ROYAL SON - 92 - Alw 82834NC - 1 1/16 Miles (Tapeta) - 14Oct16-8WO 
17. SOUTHERN RING - 92 - Ontario Fashion Stakes (G3-C) - 6 Furlongs (Tapeta) - 16Oct16-4WO 
21. ATOMIC RULE - 91 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 14Oct16-7SA 
21. BIBBY - 91 - Alw 69493C - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - 16Oct16-4KEE
21. CURIOUS CAL - 91 - Clm c-25000 - 6 Furlongs - 14Oct16-5BEL
21. ENOLA GRAY - 91 - California Distaff Handicap - About 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - 15Oct16-3SA
25. GOATS TOWN - 90 - Alw 54370N1X - 7 Furlongs - 14Oct16-7KEE
25. SEUSS - 90 - Alw 12500s - 1 Mile (Turf) - 13Oct16-5MED 
 
ERUPT's lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post. 
 
STORMY LIBERAL was claimed for $40,000 by trainer Peter Miller from Doug O'Neill.
 
CURIOUS CAL was claimed for $25,000 by trainer George Weaver from Charlton Baker.
 
*Congrats to Rkccasselberry 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 Raven Run Stakes from Keeneland 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)

 

AttachmentSize
BCCLASSICWINNERS.pdf910.5 KB
QUIETAMERICAN.pdf714.06 KB
ERUPT.pdf755.78 KB
Copy of HG 10 15 16 QE II.xls53 KB
HGRAVENRUN.pdf239.7 KB