03/09/2016 4:30PM

Nice win for Blofeld


BLOFELD reached the winner's circle for the first time in over 16 months with his rail-skimming score in last Saturday's Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap.

Profiled in detail in the October 8, 2014 edition of FormBlog (http://www.drf.com/blogs/watch-out-blofeld), Blofeld's career stagnated following a promising juvenile campaign that saw him reel off three consecutive victories with two of those tallies in graded company.

Blofeld never took a step on the Kentucky Derby trail the following spring. Instead, he made his debut in the $100,000 William Walker Stakes over "good" going under the lights at Churchill Downs on April 25. He finished an even third behind the solid sophomore sprinter Cinco Charlie in a decent-enough starting point to the season, but then was one of a plethora of Todd Pletcher-trained, Belmont-based horses that came down with a virus.

Blofeld tried again on the Fourth of July, but was no match for Speightster in the Grade 3 Dwyer Stakes. That was it for the Quality Road colt's 3-year-old year.

Highly disappointing, to say the least.

Pletcher gave Blofeld plenty of time and it appears his patience is being rewarded. In his first start back, Blofeld finished fourth in an optional claimer on January 27 at Gulfstream. That race was at six furlongs and had the appearance of a strong prep. Outrun early at a distance that might be too sharp for him at this point of his career, Blofeld ran on in the stretch and galloped out well.

That start set him up perfectly for the Gulfstream Park Handicap, a race that featured four from the Pletcher barn. A little luck goes a long way in this business and Blofeld was probably helped greatly by a scary incident that occurred in midstretch. Race favorite VALID loomed menacingly on the outside with some momentum, but went down to his nose after ANCHOR DOWN drifted into his path. That left Blofeld, a horse that enjoys running on the rail, to scoot on through and deny stablemate STANFORD in the shadow of the wire. Blofeld completed the mile in 1:35.03 and received a career-best 103 Beyer Speed Figure. Thankfully, Valid emerged with only a couple of minor cuts.

"We were expecting a big performance from him [Blofeld]," Pletcher told track publicity after the race. "I thought he got a race off the layoff, so we were looking for a big effort from him. It’s nice to see him get back to the form we knew he was capable of."

Blofeld has always had immense potential. If you believe he's starting to finally put it all together, then he's worth following in similar middle-distance graded stakes races.


Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 3/1/16 - 3/7/16:

1. TOLEDO EDDIE - 106 - Clm 50000(50-45) - 1 1/16 Miles - 6Mar16-3SA
2. GRAND TITO - 104 - Mac Diarmida Stakes (G2) - 1 3/8 Miles (Turf) - 5Mar16-12GP
3. BLOFELD - 103 - Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2) - 1 Mile - 5Mar16-11GP
3. LIGHTSTREAM - 103 - Md Sp Wt 40k - 7 Furlongs - 6Mar16-6GP
5. AWESOME GENT - 99 - Jimmy Winkfield Stakes - 6 Furlongs (Inner Dirt) - 6Mar16-5AQU
5. WABEL - 99 - Alw 73000N2L - 6 Furlongs - 5Mar16-5OP 
5. W. B. SMUDGE - 99 - OC 40k/C -N - 6 Furlongs - 3Mar16-8OP
5. WORLD APPROVAL - 99 - OC 100k/C -N - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 5Mar16-7GP
9. REGALLY READY - 98 - OC 50k/C -N - 1 Mile - 5Mar16-6OP
9. W. GILES - 98 - Alw 10000s - 5 1/2 Furlongs - 6Mar16-1SA
11. MATT KING COAL - 97 - OC 80k/N1X -N - 1 1/16 Miles - 6Mar16-3AQU
12. DONEGAL MOON - 96 - Alw 51000N1X - 1 Mile - 5Mar16-8PRX
12. LITTLE POPSIE - 96 - OC 40k/ -N - 6 Furlongs (Inner Dirt) - 5Mar16-8AQU
12. SUBTLE INDIAN - 96 - Hot Springs Stakes - 6 Furlongs - 5Mar16-8OP
15. LIEUTENANT COLONEL - 95 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 1/8 Miles - 6Mar16-5SA
15. OHIO (BRZ) - 95 - OC 40k/N1X -N - 1 Mile (Turf) - 5Mar16-7SA
17. MEI LING - 94 - Heavenly Prize Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles (Inner Dirt) - 5Mar16-7AQU
18. HOBBITS HERO - 93 - 1 Mile (Turf) - Clm c-(25-22.5) - 4Mar16-1SA
18. QUICK AND SILVER - 93 - OC 62k/N2X - 6 Furlongs (Tapeta) - 5Mar16-8GG
18. SONGBIRD - 93 - Santa Ysabel Stakes (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles - 5Mar16-5SA
21. A RED TIE DAY - 92 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 1/4 Miles (Turf) - 3Mar16-7SA
21. CARDS OF STONE - 92 - OC 75k/N1X -N - 1 Mile (Inner Dirt) - 4Mar16-3AQU
21. LATENT REVENGE - 92 - OC 40k/N2X -N - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - 6Mar16-3FG
21. OLORDA (GER) - 92 - The Very One Stakes (G3) - 1 3/16 Miles (Turf) - 5Mar16-5GP
21. SAVOY STOMP - 92 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 1/16 Miles - 3Mar16-10GP
21. S'MAVERLOUS - 92 - OC 40k/N2X -N - 1 Mile 70 Yards - 3Mar16-8FG

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

*Hobbits Hero was claimed for $25,000 by trainer Peter Miller from Richard Baltas.


I just heard you and Matt discussing poor decision making in today's Gotham by Shagaf's rider, Irad Ortiz.
After the race, Richard Migliore interviewed Chad Brown and he said taking back and taking some dirt was the plan as they wanted to make this a training race. They would be happy if they won, but they wanted a different experience for the horse.

After further review, Ortiz actually gave the horse a great trip, saving ground on the gold rail for most of the way before angling out turning into the stretch. What was shocking watching the race live was that LAOBAN broke poorly and that gave SHAGAF a perfect opportunity to grab the lead, the rail and, most likely, a pretty easy win.

I don't doubt that Ortiz rode to trainer Chad Brown's instructions, and Shagaf will probably benefit from this ride in the long run. He successfully took dirt in his face for the first time and had to fight hard in the stretch once against the grain of the track. Still, it was risky to ride the horse that way considering the bias. Horseplayers betting the chalk experienced more anxious moments than necessary, although I doubt their feelings were part of the pre-race decision-making process.


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.

Matt Bernier, Mike Beer and I will be on for free and fun live handicapping analysis for Tampa Bay Downs, Santa Anita, Gulfsteam, Aqueduct and Oaklawn beginning at 3pm ET on live.drf.com.


Congrats to Phil D. for winning last week's HandiGambling challenge.

Phil selected Saturday's Tampa Bay Derby for this week's exercise.


Rick M and SR VEGAS' 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!




Copy of HG 3 5 16 Gotham AQU.xls51 KB
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SR Vegas, In the comments for the Who's Hot, Who's Not for the Ky Derby, someone named Richard said this year may break a record for number of gray horses in the 20 horse field. :) Maybe there will be another gray trifecta. :) Of course, an MKB gray trifecta. I did notice that there are an exceptionally large number of grays among the better members of this crop. Annie
DavidM9999 More than 1 year ago
This week has been light in horse racing news. The Ocala sales are ongoing. Not as exciting this year when you don’t have a 2 YO in it. In all honesty I made a meat loaf instead of watching our best colt go thru the ring. He RNA’d anyway but the meat loaf was awesome. I did see an Uncle Mo go for $1.3M. It is nice when a new sire comes along immediately dropping solid winners. Mo’s may or may not get 10 furlongs in Louisville but they certainly get a ton of purses in other spots. I think sires can be unjustly viewed thru the Classic distance only lens. I would love to own a swift stakes sprinter or miler. Nothing wrong with owning a Runhappy or Liam’s Map. Songbird closes at $0.70 on dollar in Oak futures. I am not a fan of futures. Trying to predict 1:10 into the future is actually beyond my limit. Dealing with the present has been difficult enough lately too. What I don’t get about future players is this – how many horses do these folks play. Say they find five that are attractive overlays in their estimation. If you play them equally what is your real return at the end of the exercise versus what you would have got the day of the race. I understand the immeasurable intangible value being able to brag for infinity that I got California Chrome at 12-1 instead of 5-2 but if you play multiples with some not entering the gate what did you actually get. Anyone make these work? How many you playing? Back to Songbird. If I owned a time machine and could go back to 1973 I would be leery of betting Secretariat at $0.70 even knowing he sets the track record 119 seconds later. Things happen. Paulick has a poll up on jockeys going into the HOF. Listed are Dominguez, Victor, Gomez, and Perret. I selected Ramon. So far the voting is 45% for Ramon, 28% Victor, Perret 17%, and Gomez 10%. Ramon was forced to retire from our sport too early. I would have thought Victor would have gotten more votes due to AP’s recent glorious run and his salsa performance on Dancing with the Stars. The Racing Commission in Indiana just suspended trainer Randy Haffner 45 days for overages of dexamethasone and cobalt. Any drug with six vowels in it I am going to side with Nancy Reagan on. Seriously I have no idea what dexamethasone is and I am tired of looking these drugs up all the time. If it is legit and this was a simple overage then no outrage from me. Micro-trace overages of legitimate therapeutic drugs are never my target. The Cobalt thing I question. Why is he administering Cobalt? The 45 day suspension means he comes back around May 1. Indiana Grand opens April 19, 2016. The timing of suspensions can be laughable. Also for the record Mr. Haffner is PRESIDENT of the QHRA of Indiana. About a week ago Dan (Brutus) posted what I found to be a provocative study by Lenny concerning rails at Gulfstream. It gathered little comment from the Form Blog community. Really no opinions or interest, or just overlooked.
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Annie ...more MKB SMOKEY IMAGE Okay, first thing first . He’s not a PGH but his named fooled me. He is a chestnut colt, born March 4, 2013 Dosage profile numbers are : {5-h} DP = 4-4-10-0-0 (18) DI = 2.60 CD = 0.67 Trainer is Carla Gaines and the current Wynn odds are 30-1 Sire is Southern Image and is out of a Free House mare - Special Smoke( a PGH) She won once, and has 4 foals, all of which have made it to the races and have made money. Race record: 7 - 6 -0 - 0 with earnings of $443,100 At 2: 1st - Won debut 21 Jun2015 @ Oak Tree at Pleasanton, 5f MSW. 1st Everett Nevin S. (OPT 5½f), 1st Cavonnier Juvenile S. (SR,6f), 1st I'm Smokin S. (Dmr,6f), 1st Golden State Juvenile S. (Dmr,7f) Voted Champion Cal-bred 2YO Male. At 3: 1st California Cup Derby-R (SA,8½f) 5th 3/13/16 San Felipe stakes Well, he did not show his best in the San Felipe. Was he over his head, or just a bad day? Though he has been known to set the pace, or just press it..IMO he just seemed a bit off in this last race. I expect to see him back on the work tab and that his connections give him another chance in the SA Derby on 4/9/16 His sire Southern Image (record 8-6-1-1) did win the Santa Anita Hcp at 10F in 2004. So maybe this could be a good sign . We will see.. Either way, we have got to be in it to win it, and get those points to advance to the Ky Derby Gate. ----------------------------------------- ...A bit frivolous, but some recent MKB ' shop talk ' ... SR…Chalky , stop it ! You nipping at my ankles will NOT make me stop posting about my own MKB. Chalky ..inaudible SR....what? I don’t care that your Discreetness may be better than my Smokey and that you have 10 points. Chalky ..squeal, and an inaudible SR…huh?...Yes, there are many MKB running this weekend, but ultimately only 20 that have a chance to get in the Ky Derby Gate. Chalky..grrrrr, chirp. ..as she rolls over in her bling, squeal SR... . Okay, pleeeze Stop. I’ll ask Annie. Chalky .. grrr..Purrrr-fect Oh gosh, Annie help !! Chalky is getting Derby fever ! We need some MKB shedrow /barn smack talk to shut up this furry diva. Perhaps some MKB owners, or anyone can chime in. There are so many MKB going into the Rebel Stakes this weekend. What can they be thinking back in the shedrow? Perhaps we can hear something from the 'horses mouth ? SR Vegas
Penguin ymous More than 1 year ago
A one day late HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO KNM of AOS Stables. And a great job on your handicapping prowess over the last few months in PH.
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Annie The SA P6 is intriguing. and as you say , may be out of one's budget with the $2 min. I'm looking at it and also the P5 ( though it will be more for my journal) than real $. It's a learning curve for me. I've made some tentative notes, and am just waiting for the ML odds, to see if they align with your very successful A-B-C-D system. I will be pretty busy with volunteer stuff before leaving for another CA road trip this weekend, but I may post my choices to 'see' how I stack up. I've been doing miserably in HG ..so maybe a different mind set will help :) SR Vegas
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
MKB Annie Chalky says thanks for the update on the MKBs. Her DISCREETNESS is not in the Rebel, which makes sense as he is just back working. She is sure he will be trained up to the AK Derby on 4/19, and hope for the mother lode of points. 100-40-20-10 . As you noted, only a few opportunities left . Here is your list with the points. March 19th Rebel at OP = 50-20-10-5 March 26th UAE Derby at Meydan = 100-40-20-10 Louisiana Derby at FG = 100-40-20-10 April 2nd Florida Derby at GP = 100-40-20-10 Spiral at Turfway = 50-20-10-5 April 9th Wood at Aqu= 100-40-20-10 Blue Grass at Keeneland = 100-40-20-10 Santa Anita Derby at SA = 100-40-20-10 April 16th Arkansas Derby at OP = 100-40-20-10 Lexington at Keeneland = 10-4-2-1 Now, about my new SMOKEY IMAGE... maybe the SA Derby next? If he came out of the San Felipe okay. Sigh ... I hope to see him back on the work tab next week. I have not seen GIFT BOX working at all. I do believe they have wrapped him up for the season. Perhaps later this summer. Such talent, and such a pretty gray face :) SR Vegas
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thank you, CHALKY, and of course, SR VEGAS, for the bio for DISCREETNESS. :) After looking at the SA Pick 6, it doesn't look as winnable as I first thought. At least not for what I would want to spend. That $2 minimum is a killer. I should probably just do the Pick 5, as I do want to do some "investing" on the MKB race on Sat. :) Annie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There will be a slew of March MKBs entered in the Rebel on Sat. That will take care of the bios for those horses, as their PPs will be available. :) Entries aren't out yet, but interestingly I have only been able to find one December MKB that is a possible for the race: JOE L'S Creator There are six March MKBs possible: DAN ILLMAN'S Suddenbreakingnews :) CURTIS V. SLEWSTER'S Whitmore LAURA'S Cupid PAT GAVIN'S Cherry Wine JAY VAN HORN'S Ralis LONGWAYTOMAY (AOS) American Dubai This is a tough race! It will be interesting to see which of these move forward. Good luck to all!!! Annie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MKB UPDATE: The three MKBs in the Sunland Park Festival of Racing Stakes on Sunday are understandably the three favorites. :) No points, but it is a $415,000 purse (cut down from 800K). It's not chickenfeed. SWEDE'S Collected 5-2 Favorite DICK W'S Gettysburg 3-1 DYLBERT'S Found Money 7-2 Good luck, guys!!! Let's get an MKB trifecta! Annie
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Annie In the Spirit of MKB, Chalky wanted to help with the Bios. She has this about her new MKB. ... Of course, yours are always better :) DISCREETNESS Is a Bay colt born March 10, 2013. Sire Discreet Cat , out of the Elusive Quality mare – Fondness. She was unraced and this is her 2nd foal. Sold at KEE SEP 2014 for $67,000, then at OBS MAR 2015 for $105,000 His numbers are {8-f} DP = 2-5-5-0-0 (12) DI = 3.80 CD = 0.75 His trainer is William Fires . He is 150-1 odds with The Wynn. Race record : 7 Starts: 4 - 0 – 0 and $283,233 in winnings. At 2: Aug 2015-Arlington-won initial start. MSW 5.5F Won Springboard Mile S. (RP,8F) 4th Street Sense S. (CD,8F) At 3: Won Smarty Jones S. (OP,8F) 7th in the Souwthwest Stakes (OP 1 1/16M) He’s back on the work tab having breezed at Oaklawn Park 3/14/16 4F 0.49.80 on a good track. Let’s see where his connections send him next. She read he is a 'probable' for the Rebel this weekend. He has 10 Ky Derby points, so he needs a good finish next time out to be in the Ky Derby Gate. Chalky says Thank You for her new MKB ! SR Vegas