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NHC thoughts, 3-year-olds to follow
It was the Cairo Prince show at Gulfstream last week as the son of Pioneerof the Nile obliterated his competition in the Holy Bull Stakes. Let's take a closer look at two other sophomores that stepped up in lesser races.
TOP BILLING (Curlin – Parade Queen, by A.P. Indy)
Breeder: W. S. Farish & E. J. Hudson, Jr. Irrevocable Trust
Owner: William S. Farish and E. J. Hudson, Jr.
Trainer: Claude “Shug” McGaughey
Last Start: 1st, ‘n1x’ optional claimer, January 25, 1 1/16 Miles, Gulfstream, 90 Beyer
DP = 6-9-20-1-0 (36) DI = 2.27 CD = 0.56
Shug McGaughey won last year’s Kentucky Derby with Orb, and he now has a very promising 3-year-old in Top Billing, a son of Curlin that proved too classy for six others at Gulfstream last Saturday. After breaking from post two as the even-money favorite, Top Billing, ridden by Joel Rosario, lagged far behind the leaders for the first five furlongs of the 1 1/16-mile optional claimer.
Surfing U S A set fractions of 23.88 and 47.23, but Top Billing rattled off a 23.18 third-quarter clocking to advance on the leaders. With a four-wide sweep, Top Billing was in front turning for home and he drew away under minimal urging to prevail by 2 ¾ lengths in 1:42.66, a final time good enough for a 90 Beyer.
Top Billing is by Curlin, a seven-time Grade 1 winner that scored at distances from 7-10 furlongs. Named Horse of the Year both seasons he competed, Curlin took down such valuable events as the Preakness Stakes, Breeders’ Cup Classic, Woodward Stakes and two editions of the Jockey Club Gold Cup. He retired with over $10.5M in earnings.
Curlin sired a classic winner from his first crop as Palace Malice grabbed the Belmont Stakes last year at 12 furlongs. Ride On Curlin, one of Top Billing’s sophomore peers, finished third in last year’s Grade 1 Champagne Stakes and recently won an optional claiming event at Oaklawn.
Top Billing’s dam, Parade Queen (by the great A.P. Indy), excelled on turf. She won the Grade 3 Mrs. Revere Stakes at Churchill and the Grade 3 Joe Namath Handicap at Gulfstream. Both of those races were at 1 1/16 miles, but Parade Queen was also successful at nine furlongs.
Along with Top Billing, Parade Queen has produced Grade 3 sprint winner Untouched Talent and stakes-winning sprinter King Gulch. Untouched Talent is the dam of Grade 1 winner Bodemeister, who also finished second in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. The turf influences continue deeper in the family as second dam Spanish Parade (by Roberto) also won the Mrs. Revere.
Top Billing has now won two of three races with the lone defeat a tough-trip nose loss to Commissioner at Gulfstream on January 3. He is bred to run all day, but his lack of early speed may make him dependent on pace and race luck when the competition gets saltier. That being said, he is expected to make noise in graded stakes in the immediate future.
QUICK INDIAN (Indian Charlie – Quick Temper, by A.P. Indy)
Breeder: Hill 'N' Dale Equine Holdings, Inc. & Edward McGhee
Owner: Daniel J. Lynch and Merrill R. Scherer
Trainer: Merrill Scherer
Auction: $19,000 (RNA) Keeneland September Yearling
Last Start: 1st ‘n1x’ optional claimer, January 24, 1 Mile 70 Yards, Fair Grounds, 85 Beyer
DP = 3-6-9-0-0 (18) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.67
Flying further under the radar is Quick Indian, a colt that needed almost all of the long Fair Grounds stretch to wear down Border Hopper at 1 Mile and 70 Yards last Friday. Trained by Merrill Scherer, Quick Indian veered outward at the start and trailed the field going into the first turn. He gradually moved into contention, set his sights on pacesetter Border Hopper in midstretch and resolutely wore that foe down to earn a one-length victory. The final time of 1:44.46 computed to an 85 Beyer, a number 25 points higher than the figure Quick Indian received when placed first via disqualification in a maiden heat at Fair Grounds on December 13.
After winning his first four starts by a combined 25 ¾ lengths, Quick Indian’s sire, Indian Charlie, rambled into Louisville as the favorite for the 1998 Kentucky Derby. He ran well in the Derby, but faded to third in the final furlong behind stablemate Real Quiet and Victory Gallop. Indian Charlie triumphed at distances from 5 ½ furlongs to 1 1/8 miles and earned two Beyer Speed Figures of 110 or higher. His career-making performance came in the Santa Anita Derby, a race in which he beat Real Quiet with a 111 Beyer.
Indian Charlie was a solid sire prior to his death in 2011. He has three American champions under his name (Uncle Mo, Indian Blessing, Fleet Indian) and also produced North American Grade 1 winners Pampered Princess and Liaison.
Quick Indian receives stamina from his female family. His dam, Quick Temper (by A.P. Indy), was Grade 2-placed at 1 1/16 miles. She also won at nine furlongs and was a close second in the Grade 3-C Maple Leaf Stakes traveling 1 ¼ miles at Woodbine. Quick Temper is a half-sister to Marino Marini, a Grade/Group 1-placed sprinter on both turf and dirt. Their dam, Halo America (by Waquoit), was a four-length winner over champion Jewel Princess in the Grade 1 Apple Blossom Handicap at 1 1/16 miles. Halo America won nine stakes races and over $1.4M in earnings.
Quick Indian still has lots to prove. The 1-5 favorite last Friday, Unknown Road, failed to fire and the rest of the horses in the five-horse field were of questionable quality. Quick Indian acts like he’ll go at least nine furlongs, however, and he deserves an opportunity in a race like the Risen Star and/or Louisiana Derby.
*Nice to see DELAUNAY back to his best form. The 7-year-old son of Smoke Glacken looked like one of the better sprinters last year after winning the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Stakes by four facile lengths on May 4. Following two chalky defeats, he was sent to the sidelines for some rest and relaxation. After he missed his intended return in the Thanksgiving Handicap at Fair Grounds due to illness, Delaunay was given some more time to recuperate. Last Saturday, he handled his usual whipping-boy, GANTRY, and three others in the F. W. Gaudin Memorial at Fair Grounds. It was the fifth time that Gantry has finished second to Delaunay since September 8, 2012. Delaunay has now earned nine consecutive triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures and is approaching 900K in earnings.
*LAKERVILLE is a warrior. The talented 6-year-old has been plagued with one injury after another throughout his career, but he returned from an over 17-month layoff to roll by a decent group of turf sprinters in last Sunday's Clocker's Corner Stakes. Lakerville hasn't been out of the exacta in seven lifetime appearances and both of his losses have come by less than a length. If he stays healthy, he can be a major force in this division in 2014 for trainer Barry Abrams.
*SUM OF THE PARTS has competed in the past two Breeders' Cup Sprints, but it's possible that the Turf Sprint will be more his speed in 2014. The 5-year-old has won his last two going short on the lawn, including a record-breaking performance at Sam Houston last Saturday (5 furlongs in 56.21). Tom Amoss trains the 5-year-old, a stakes winner on dirt, turf and synthetic.
Last week's National Handicapping Championship featured some of the top tournament players in the country.
The winner, Jose Arias, is a soft-spoken fellow with ice water in his veins. He dominated the contest, taking the lead with a couple of price-capped horses at the end of Day 1 and maintaining the advantage all the way to the wire.
Arias held off the consistent Tony Brice, who hovered on the leaderboard throughout the tournament before rallying furiously at the final table of ten. Brice, who maintains that it is important for horseplayers to know their strengths and weaknesses (he favors dirt routes and devotes most of his play to those races), scored in the final contest race, a dirt sprint, only to fall $1.20 short. Brice mentioned to me that his wife lost her job last year, and he was almost overcome with emotion as he described what the $200,000 second-place prize money meant to his family.
Arias favors trip handicapping and he studiously devoted his time to replay watching during the contest. Most of his big scores came at Santa Anita and some felt that he would be at a disadvantage during the "Final 50" portion of the tournament as there were no races from Southern California to handicap. Arias slumped a bit late, but hit a $7.00 place runner at Gulfstream on the first race at the "Final 10" table. That horse eventually made all the difference.
One of our esteemed FormBloggers, Alan Levitt, once again qualified for the tournament. After a tough first couple of days, Alan caught fire during the consolation contest for entrants that didn't crack the top fifty scores. Alan finished second in that tournament, good enough for $13,000.
At Alan's table, there were some very sharp handicappers that did extremely well during the three-day tournament format. I was honored when they asked me to take part in their Santa Anita Pick 6 syndicate on Sunday. I'd love to say that my opinions were the catalyst for the winning bet, but I was merely a passenger. Those guys handicapped the card perfectly, constructed some beautiful tickets, and deserved to cash a big one. I'm thankful for their kindness and friendship. I'd also be remiss if I didn't thank S R Vegas for being such a wonderful hostess during my stay in Las Vegas.
Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures (1/20/13 - 1/26/13):
1. EVOLUTION ROCKS - 106 - Thrillin Discovery Handicap - 6 Furlongs - Calder
2. DELAUNAY - 104 - F. W. Gaudin Memorial Stakes - 6 Furlongs - Fair Grounds.
3. AMMAROO - 102 - Alw 12500s - 6 Furlongs - Oaklawn
4. SAN ONOFRE - 99 - Alw 74258N1X - 7 Furlongs - Santa Anita
5. BOLD CURLIN - 98 - Native Dancer Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - Laurel
5. L. A. WEEKEND - 98 - Swift Stakes - 5 1/2 Furlongs - Turf Paradise
7. GROUND TRANSPORT - 97 - OC 40k/N2X -N - 1 Mile 70 Yards - Fair Grounds
7. INDIANAPOLIS - 97 - San Pedro Stakes - 6 Furlongs - Santa Anita
7. ROSE TO GOLD - 97 - Houston Ladies Classic Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - Sam Houston
7. TEEN PAULINE - 97 - Ladies Handicap - 1 1/8 Miles (Inner Dirt) - Aqueduct
11. BIG MACHER - 96 - Donald Valpredo California Cup Sprint Stakes - 6 Furlongs - Santa Anita
11. LAKERVILLE - 96 - Clocker's Corner Stakes - About 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Santa Anita
11. MR. ONLINE - 96 - OC25k/SAL25k - 1 Mile (Turf) - Gulfstream
11. SKIP THE PINOT - 96 - OC 35k/N4L -N - 6 Furlongs - Fair Grounds
15. ADMIRAL KITTEN - 95 - John B. Connally Turf Cup Stakes - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - Sam Houston
15. CAIRO PRINCE - 95 - Holy Bull Stakes (G2) - 1 1/16 Miles - Gulfstream
15. DAWLY - 95 - OC 50k/N2X -N - 1 1/16 Miles (Inner Dirt) - Aqueduct
15. POINT TO THE WILD - 95 - OC 40k/N2X -N - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Fair Grounds
19. SHRINKING VIOLET - 94 - Lightning City Stakes - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - Tampa Bay
19. SUM OF THE PARTS - 94 - Champion Energy Services Stakes - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - Sam Houston
21. APROPOS - 93 - American Beauty Stakes - 6 Furlongs - Oaklawn
21. WEEWINNIN - 93 - California Cup Turf Classic - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - Santa Anita
23. EXTRASEXYHIPPZSTER - 92 - Miracle Wood Stakes - 1 Mile - Laurel
23. SCHERZINGER - 92 - Santa Monica Stakes (G2) - 7 Furlongs - Santa Anita
23. ZIMMER - 92 - Clm 50000(50-45) - About 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Santa Anita
*The lifetime past performances for EVOLUTION ROCKS are available at the bottom of this blog post.
Dan thanks for the incite on Indianapolis, can’t wait when he goes to a longer distance hopefully he can handle it and with some racing luck another victory and some Derby dreams to boot for the connections. Also me too, MKB! Hey someone said “We are the music makers and the dreamers of dreams.”
Could you put Medaglia d'Oro’s pp’s in your next blog? Thanks!
Medaglia d'Oro's past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.
looks like my request for super$6kclaim Ribo B got lost in the ether...
if you would't mind tossing up his pps, would appreciate
RIBO BOBO's lifetime past performances are at the bottom of this blog post.
Dan can you post the PPs for Megahertz
They're at the bottom of the page with the other lifetime past performances.
Just watched the replay of the Cal Cup Derby...Checking out my MKB Tamarando to see his performance. Can you post his PP's? Also, given a slightly faster pace and take away the huge wide move towards the top of the stretch...is he still a viable derby contender or pretender?
You can find TAMARANDO's past performances below. I'm not his biggest fan. He's a talented horse, but comes from way out of it and is usually at the mercy of racing luck. Plus, it seems as if all of his fast races are on synthetic surfaces.
We'll have our annual FormBlog Convention at Gulfstream Park the weekend of February 28. Our gracious hostess, Laura, has an update for us...
UPDATE on the DRF Formblog Convention!
The Convention is Feb. 28 - March 3 at GP Park. (Fri - Sun). We get a discount on rooms at Hampton Inn, across from the track. The price is $172/night (plus the dreaded $18 tax). To receive the correct rate, call the hotel directly (954-874-3006) and ask for the Gulfstream Park rate. If there's any difficulty, please email me at:
As usual, we'll be given a suite overlooking the track with our own private balcony and betting terminals, trips to the paddock, a race named for our group and photo in the winner's circle. We'll also have plenty of swag from the BC and other fun stuff.
This is always a fantastic weekend so don't miss out! Come handicap with our Fearless Leader, Sheriff Dan Who! I can supply rides to/from the airport (about 10 minutes away), if needed. Check out this page for more info:
The weekend handicapping previews should be available on the site soon.
You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman
Congrats to Hunter4fun for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling exercise.
Rick M's scoresheet is available at the bottom of this blog post.
This week's HandiGambling exercise will be Friday's seventh race from Santa Anita.
PAST PERFORMANCES ARE AVAILABLE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS BLOG POST.
SR Vegas and Rick M. have graciously decided to streamline all of the HG rules in order to make them an easier read for everyone...
With so many new people attending Dan's Formblog we thought it would be a good time to update the Handigambling Guidelines and Rules as we go forward in 2014.
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 if you could spare a sentence or two outlining your handicapping angles and thought processes about wagering, it would be appreciated.
- Please start your post with HG or HANDIGAMBLING to better recognize and find your entry.
- You have a mythical $100 to wager in whatever format you choose and that is available for that HG race.
Anyone going over the $100 limit will be disqualified.
- Post your WAGER and ANALYSIS to the blog WITH YOUR NAME/OR MONIKER AT THE END OF THE POST. Remember that posts may start as 'anonymous' or an 'alternate name'. You MUST sign yourself at the end (even if it is the same) This enables the scorekeeper to recognize you .
- (1) ONE ENTRY per person for the Handigambling contest. If you have multiple email addresses, use just ONE for contest purposes. Multiple entries will be cause for disqualification.
- Separate your analysis from the wager and use the horses # in your wager. Just like you would do in a real wager. No horse names.
-In the event of a tie, the earliest post gets first preference. Dan reserves the right to approve or deny any entries.
- The winner will receive a "Monthly Enhanced 60-Card Past Performance Plan"
As an example :
The speed in this race goes to horses # 1, 4 ,6 ..Ennie , Meenie, and Mo
Since it's a sprint I don't see any closers catching them.. like # 9 Miney.
I think trainer Groucho with the #6 Mo has the best stats in this condition, route to sprint.. just a gut feeling at large odds ML 20-1
50$ Ex box 1-6
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 FRIDAY RACE IS MOST IDEAL).
Best of luck to all.
|EVOLUTION ROCKS.pdf||726.24 KB|
|Medaglia d'Oro.pdf||683.54 KB|
|RIBO BOBO.pdf||731.48 KB|
|Copy of Formblog Gulfstream 1-24-14.xls||68.5 KB|
Bernard, Sorry...the more I thought about it the more I thought I was mistaken about the average winning distance for More Than ready's.....so I checked, I was mistaken...it's 7f's, not 6.5......hey I can only remember so much.....but it doesn't alter my opinion....Mike A
Bernard, As other horses in your neck of the woods have shown top class milers can be mentioned in the same breath as "the best of the best"......My Guess is Mr. O'Brien will keep Verrazano at 8f's......but will try an alter his style a bit. Altering a horses style seems a bit more doable than changing the physical ability to stretch out. One is mental, the other is Physical.......More Than Ready's as a whole aren't killers much past 1 1/16th on any surface. Verrazano won at 9f's but slowly.....it wasn't a testament to the horses he beat. The avg. winning distance for MTR's since his first crop some 12 years ago is 6.5f's.....now that's then average.....some have won longer, but I doubt you've seen one that ran fast longer at least not in this neck of the world. More Than Readys highest money earners come from down under I believe.....don't quote me though, More Joyous......a Sprinter/Miler, out of New Zealand and Sebring,......strictly a sprinter out of Australia. Trying to get Verrazano to go beyond a mile against good horses is a waste of time, just like breeding to Bernardini is a waste of time...and money. I'd concentrate on getting the most out of him up to a mile.....he has the potential to be a decent horse.....otherwise? I would have shipped him down under, they're crazy for sprinters down there and pay big for them......that's where I think he'd really shine.....Mike A
JJ ...and others who may be interested. From some of the media "who's who at the NHC" that I got. Here's a bit of information. NHC 2014 had (7) returning Champs. 2013 Jim Benes, 2011 John Doyle, 2008 Richard Goodall, 2007 Stanley Bavlish , 2006 Ron Rippey, 2205 James Michelson Jr, Judy Wagner 2001. The highest finish by a NHC Champ is 11th place in 2005. By 2004 Champ Kent Meyer. Then Judy Wagner (2001 Champ) 12th place in 2014. There have been many who have 10+ NHC appearances (12) appearences : Sally Goodall , Paul Sherman ( 2003-2014) and David "Trey" Stiles (2003- 2014) (11) appearences : Bill Shurman , Louis Constan , Ron Rippey, Rich Nilsen , Bryan Wagner and Judy Wagner (10) appearances : Duke Matties. It was really neat to see them acknowledged at the Awards Banquet. ..in NHC 2014 the youngest is 23 , the oldest is 87 and celebrated his B-Day that weekend. No fewer than 29 entries of the expected 495 belong to women and (1) made it to the final 10 table. Congrats Lynn! Several sets of brothers qualified, and several husband and wives qualified together. Both having their own seat. w I agree that there are those who make the top 10 , or top 20 on a regular basis. I hope to be able to dig that up, and whatever other tidbits I can find later :) ---------------- I'm sure the NHC format will be tweaked as it continues, but I don't really see anything drastic being done after this final 50/ final 10 table .This was a drastic change. The time line for the 3rd day was very tight for the mandatory and selected optional race agenda. Something new for the handicappers to navigate. Also the tournament has grown from a couple hundred entries to almost 500 and with the popularity could grow more. A hosting facility will need to improve the handicappers standards with better internet . The self serve machines were in the main ballroom and they could have used some in the auxillary room. Of course this is not everyone's cup of tea in handicapping contests, but from what I saw as an observer, everyone was there working hard at their handicapping and having a good experience. SR Vegas
Mike A, Thanks for the clarification. Your usual very thorough self - now I need a couple of days to absorb it. I am still speculating (and generalising), but Aidan O'Brien trains very few 3 year old plus sprinters (sprints are regarded as 5 or 6 furlong races in Europe). O'Brien likes 8 furlong plus horses and with the slower tempo of races over here, I suspect he thinks he can get the horse to race 8 or 9 furlongs. As I posted originally, I have an idea he will be competitive, but a Group 1 winner? I will reserve judgement. Best Regards - Bernard Downes
Stuckinarizona Las Vegas Ky Derby Futures Matterhorn The Wynn as of 1/29/14 ...opened at 250-1 is now 75-1 William Hill as of 1/29/14 ..opened at 150-1 is now 125-1 LVH as of 1/4/14 is listed at 150-1 ..subject to change :) If anyone is interested, for reference I use Dave Tuley's ViewFromVegas site. http://www.viewfromvegas.com/Race_Book_Notes.html SR Vegas
stuckinarizona "I keep remembering Doug O'Neill's future wager on a pony named I'll Have Another" I think we are talking two different things. The Ky Derby Future pools (as Annie has noted) are not the same as The Ky Derby Future wagers you can get here in Las Vegas and areas in Nevada. Here's the Ky derby website link. http://www.kentuckyderby.com/racing-wagering/future-wager which has 23 selected horses, and the 'field' as the 24th 'horse'. Ky Derby Futures that are offered at certain Hotels and Sportsbooks as early as October, like The Wynn, The Hilton ( now the LVH) Lucky's and William Hill who are in various off strip locations ( including Primm NV. ) Are purchased at these locations. If you win, you have the option to mail in your winning ticket and receive your winnings. (information is on the back of your ticket.) These odds can be much higher, and include hundreds of horses, depending on the sportsbook . Here's the Doug O'Neil story. http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2012/jun/26/ill-have-another-trainer-cashes-kentucky-derby/ It got a lot of attention out in my neck of the woods :) SR Vegas
Bernard, Glad to clarify, 1) "On The Engine" refers to a horse who is generally in front start to finish.....I personally include horses who are within length early but take over before the turn home usually at the half mile marker. They are "revved" up and ready from the get go. 2) Here in the states many one mile races on dirt are won around one turn....they are big long sprints. Sprinters can and will win races around a one turn mile, not as many will win around two turns. At Belmont Park they race around one turn up to 1 1/8th, but that extra eighth spells doom for most sprinters trying to stretch out from a mile.....in that case it is strictly stamina. However two turn miles present themselves with different circumstances. As in the case with Verrazano, he ran a very good one turn mile over a fast course at Gulfstream...the time was 1:34:4, a nice time all things considered. A few weeks later he wins the Tampa Bay Derby @ 1 1/16th against moderate competition in 1 and just shade under 44. (1:43:96) The course was fast that day, by comparison the course record was 1:42:4.....so he ran 5 lengths slower than the course record. Not bad, but not great either...not with how fast the course was. Again by Comparison a Md Sp Wt's race run earlier was won by a horse trained by Bill Mott named New Line. He won in a 1/ 40 yard race in 1:40:3, which was 8 lengths slower than the course record of 1:39:0. New Line was breaking his maiden in his 6th try. He tried two sprint stakes afterwards, finishing 2nd in the Trippi and 4th in the Easy Goer, run at 7f's and 1 1/16th respectively both at Belmont, both round one turn. They weren't graded races and didn't have the toughest competition. He subsequently won an Alw race then was shipped to Arabia where he won a Third Class Condition race two weeks ago. I'm not sure what third class means there, but it sounds third class. So why mention New Line? Because he obviously isn't grade one material yet he ran a race the same day as Verrazano almost as good...as a maiden. That immediately told me Verrazano wouldn't be as fast at the extra 1/16th if run around two turns......His 1 1/8th races were won over moderate competition in relatively slow times. Wood Memorial: 1:50:1, but back at 1 1/16th at Monmouth he runs a relatively fast 1:41:3. Back to 1 1/8th in the Haskill on the same racecourse he ran quick on, Monmouth Park he runs 1:50:3....slow again. So as far as speed/stamina one turn miles it's speed, two turn miles have a blend, but speed is important. Two turn 1/18th it's also a blend, but leans to Stamina. What is very important though and does matter is class......I believe Verrazano is good enough to perform well at a mile against most horses (he wouldn't have a chance in hell of beating Wise Dan at a mile on any surface), but at 1 1/8th the competition need be lacking. He slows considerably that last 1/8th.....at least now....as a new 4 year old he may do better, though I don't have evidence that "More Than Ready's" get better with age......perhaps the turf will help. I've found though while turf will help a horse get a distance further than he would on dirt, it doesn't mean he'll beat better horses.... 3) Now as far as the extra turn? It's the whole dynamic of the race. When you run a mile and up to 1 1/8th at say Belmont park you have a long run down the backside......getting position isn't a problem, being wide isn't too much of a problem, you get position and hit the far turn, Belmont has big sweeping turns accelerating around them isn't to big a problem, then you have 1200 feet of stretch......It's like running a very long sprint race. But switch that race to Aqu. or just about any other track in the US and it's a two turn 1 1/8th. getting position early is important, you either go and get position or you get shuffled back...or you get hung out 3 or 4 wide around that first turn. Simple physics tells us a horse will expend more energy around a turn, that energy increases as he accelerates. That's one of the reasons I give extra points to any horse who can really pour it on around a turn and maintain that acceleration home whether they win or not. So you have the dynamic of using your horse to get position before the backstretch run, then getting them to relax down the backside before asking them again around that second turn and all the way home......much different dynamic. So any horse with distance limitations will not run as well or as fast as the distances increase around two turns. At least when they are competing against others who can run in racehorse time. I consider 24 quarters racehorse time.....AFTER one mile, unless it's around two turns....in one mile "sprints" around one turn a decent horse should be able to run 1:35 and less depending on the course speed. Mike A
Ray, We can wager on the official Derby Futures right at our track. I assume it is the same at any track or OTB. I think it goes on Feb. 6-8 for Pool Two. Yes, your MATTERHORN could be a sleeper. :) You never know. Annie
Ron and Mike A, I like the dialog and thoughts on handicapping contests. I would tend to disagree with Mike on some of the small points. I would agree that the tournament does not "settle" who is the best handicapper. But in the format presented, the winners have played the races that were offered well. Would they win IF they could have a choice of 386 races offered on a particular Saturday? Or if they had to bet ALL of them? Who knows... but they performed well in the parameters of the contest. The contest I won(at Pimlico) was a different animal. WE had to bet 3 races(out of 6) on Pimlico only. The first race available was the 5th and we had to have our picks in right after the 2nd race. I was studying all night on the Friday before and had a decent idea what I wanted to do. I had SOLID opinions on 4 of the 6 races. When the time to put in my selections I was still "up in the air" about what race to drop. I thought it would be a good idea to play the 1st(5th race of the day) in the contest. My horse scratches at the gate and I get the post time favorite who I would NEVER have bet. I am distraught to say the least, more so when the race I dropped my selection wins the next race. Now I am down to two selections.... . They both hit and I win... but it was a thrilling, exhausting day. I thought that it was important to hit solid shots who were likely to run with the bias that the track was beholden to. My pick to win the contest was 10-1 morning line, she went off at 9-5, it was still enough to pass others. The guys who went for "shots" got blanked on the day. I am not the best handicapper on the Pimlico/Laurel scene, but I was that day. I pay attention to the track EVERYDAY, I know the patterns of the trainers, the track biases and I know the the line maker stinks. I am back from Laurel after hitting a monster bet on Sir Travis. He is a first time claim form the super smart Kieron Magee. I thought that the dropper he picked off from a Canadian trainer was a mistake and I told him so, The horse looked awful.... fast forward to today and it looked like a different animal....bang bang 13-1 and I get the money. Makes up for last weeks nightmare of two excruciating photo finish losses that cost me a 700 dollar day., one by that out of the stirrups ride that Trevor McCarthy won with. Why didn't he give up like a normal jockey?
Annie, DRF news has a duty free article by Marty McGee on all of Pletcher's nominees for the Triple Crown, or at least the Derby. It lists his projected races for many of them. My MKB Matterhorn is aiming for a Feb. 22 allowance race at Gulfstream. Also, I noticed Matterhorn is listed at 50-1 on the Derby futures board. How does one wager on the Derby futures without an ADW, which is illegal here in AZ? I keep remembering Doug O'Neill's future wager on a pony named I'll Have Another. stuckinarizona