04/16/2008 5:35PM

Northern Dancer, Pulpit, other 'figs'

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Can't believe in between all of the talk about El Corridor, Cherokee Run and Boundary no one has discussed Pyro's distance challenged sire.
svhill

Let's take a look at the lifetime past performances of all of Pulpit's winners at ten furlongs or longer:

Download PulpitProgeny.pdf

I wouldn't call Pulpit distance challenged.  He was lightly-raced, yet still won at nine furlongs, and he has sired more 10 furlong + winners than both Cherokee Run and Boundary.

Plus, it seems like his progeny love the jumps!

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To All,
I'm looking at what people (either among us at FormBlog or outside of here) consider measures of successful handicapping.  Is a measure of "successful handicapping" having a certain percentage of winners, a certain ROI (and for what wagers?), or something else entirely?I ask because I'm looking for a way to organize and quantify my results.  To summarize, my question is not "What makes a good handicapper?" but "what is a measurement of good handicapping?"
pGM

If you're playing the game as more than just a hobby, then the bottom line is profit.  It doesn't matter the kind of bets (multi-races, exotics, straight win).  You're a good handicapper if, at the end of the day, you turn the past performances into cash. 
I'd rather win 10% of the time with a positive ROI than 30% of the time and be down money.

Now, if you're playing the races as a fun hobby, then picking winners is a great ego boost as it's very sastisfying to solve the hieroglyphics of the form.  Plus, it's a good way to impress your friends when you spend a Saturday at the track.

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I have an idea on how we can deal with the explosion of "legal" drugs - specifically Lasix and Butazolidin. What if we did a "reverse condition" - that is if you run on Lasix you carry an additional 5 lbs and if you use Bute, add another 5 lbs. So a horse running on both carries 10 extra pounds. It would have to be implemented nationwide, but if you wanted to run your MSW in a 121 carry weight, you would have them out there at 131. What do you think?
Steve T

I think it's an interesting idea, and one that the jockeys certainly would love.  Plus, I bet you wouldn't hear trainers complaining about weight assignments anymore.  I wonder if the breed is too far gone with all the medication.  Is it possible that after years and years of breeding medicated runners to each other that our horses can barely stand up without some sort of drugs coursing through their veins?

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Hey Dan
Did you check out Z Fortune's gallop out in the ark drby?  Looks like he may relish more ground.  What do you think?
Mark

Wow!  Some of our posters have given the gallop-out a bad name over the past few days.  I think it has its place as a handicapping tool along with speed figures, and trip and pace handicapping, and pedigree analysis, and all the other good stuff we look at when attempting to ferret out a winner.  Z Fortune galloped out nicely, but I thought Gayego also galloped out well.  Will I upgrade these horses due to this gallop-out?  Probably not. 
I like to watch inexperienced maidens gallop out after their races.  Sometimes, they are very green during the running of the race, but will show a good deal of energy in the gallop-out.  In my opinion, that's a sign that the young horse has some talent, and they often do better with that experience under their belt.

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Dan,
Could you also post Adriano's past performances?  Sorry for the double dip man, I'm cheap.Adriano is interesting to me.  I loved his Turfway race, it wasn't the greatest field ever assembled and Medjool (another Monarchos!!!) and Halo's Najib didn't flatter it by doing nothing in the BG, but I loved the way that colt powered home.I am inclined to throw out all results from GP this winter except turf races so I'll excuse his fountain of youth flop.  it just seems like horses that did well there are flopping and horses that didn't do well there are excelling.  That track is always strange, but this year seemed worse than usual.I trust Motion and my curiousity is peaked further by him skipping the Lexington and going straight to derby, and it was real interesting to me that Prado was up for Adriano's last work at CD.  He has to choose between Monba and Adriano, if he chooses Adriano, I'll be even more interested.Dan curious as to your thoughts and others on this mystery horse.
Jason G

Here are Adriano's past performances:

Download Adriano.pdf

Adriano has a beautiful way of going, and is certainly in the right hands leading up to the Derby.  The obvious question is whether or not he's a turf/synthetic horse that will be sorely tested on the real stuff.  I don't think his defeat in the Fountain of Youth had anything to do with his terrible post position.  If you watch the race closely, Eddie Castro was able to save some ground going into the first turn, and Adriano simply didn't have any run when called upon late on the backstretch. 
He does seem to have the right running style for this Derby, and the pace should be to his liking.  Plus, he's bred to run all day.  He's by A.P. Indy, and his second dam is the Theatrical mare Golden Treat (won Santa Anita Oaks, and is half-sister to Bet Twice). 
At a big price, he may be worth a play  I'm not saying I love him, but I'm not saying I love anyone this year.

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Dan,
I was wondering if you could post (or know where I can get) results from past Derby day Pick 4s.  I'm getting a syndicate together and it would be nice to have some historical info. 
Thanks
Brian

Here are the Pick Four payouts for the last few years:

2007 (Street Sense) - $4,783.40 (odds of winners were 9-2 ,7-1 ,8-1, 9-2) ($2 payout)
2006 (Barbaro) - $1,534.80   (odds of winners were 5-1, 4-1, 7-2, 6-1) ($2 payout)
2005 (Giacomo) - $164,168.60 (odds of winners were 5-1, 10-1, 17-1, 50-1) ($1 payout)
2004 (Smarty Jones) - $38,594.20 (odds of winners were 19-1, 5-1, 9-2, 4-1) ($2 payout)
2003 (Funny Cide) - $7,017.50 (odds of winners were 2-1, 4-5, 24-1, 12-1) ($1 payout)

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Also, last year on this blog, I believe you tracked pre-Derby workouts. It looks like this year that will play a huge role again. Can you repost what you posted last Derby?
jbecks

From the 5/1/07 Blog:

Here are the final workouts for the last 11 Derby winners (no workout information available for Thunder Gulch, Go for Gin, and Sea Hero).

2006:  Barbaro - (seven days out, Churchill Downs) 4f - 46.00 b (1/69)
2005:  Giacomo - (six days out, Hollywood Park) 6f - 1:11.80 h (1/17)
2004:  Smarty Jones (seven days out, Churchill Downs) 5f - 58 b (1/34)
2003:  Funny Cide (four days out, Belmont Park) 5f - 58.43 b (1/24)
2002:  War Emblem (four days out, Churchill Downs) 5f - 1:00.40 b (7/34)
2001:  Monarchos (four days out, Churchill Downs) 4f - 48.80 b (6/26)
2000:  Fusaichi Pegasus (six days out, Churchill Downs) 6f - 1:14.60 b (3/6)
1999:  Charismatic (five days out, Churchill Downs) 5f - 1:02.80 b (12/27)
1998:  Real Quiet (four days out, Churchill Downs) 5f - 59.20 h (1/29)
1997:  Silver Charm (five days out, Churchill Downs) 5f - 1:00.60 h (1/34)
1996:  Grindstone (five days out, Churchill Downs) 6f - 1:14 b (1/13)

So, is Jones crazy, or are we being slow to realize a trend?  Seven of the last 11 Derby winners had a bullet workout immediately before the Derby. 

Street Sense worked 5f - 1:01.00 b (5/22) at Churchill four days before the 2007 Derby.

So, we have seven of the last 12 Derby winners with bullet workouts immediately before the Derby.

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Quick question. What year did NYRA begin allowing horses to race on medication such as Lasix, (legally)?
rcarce

New York became the last state to allow Lasix use...in 1995.

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We've talked a ton about synthetic Beyers, and if they're legit or not.  I say we look at speed the old-fashioned way...for now.  Here are the old-time DRF speed ratings (+ variant) for some of the Derby preps:

Recapturetheglory - 119 (Illinois Derby)
Eight Belles - 110  (Fantasy)
Big Brown - 109 (Florida Derby)
Gayego - 106 (Arkansas Derby)
Big Truck - 104 (Tampa Bay Derby)
Colonel John - 104 (Santa Anita Derby)
Cool Coal Man - 104 (Fountain of Youth)
Z Fortune - 104 (Lecomte)
Cowboy Cal - 103 (Tropical Park Derby - Turf)
Salute the Sarge - 103 (San Miguel)
Adriano - 101 (Lane's End)
Monba - 101 (Blue Grass)
Visionaire - 100 (Gotham)
Tale of Ekati - 99 (Wood Memorial)
Pyro - 97 (Louisiana Derby)
Smooth Air - 97 (Hutcheson)

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Have some more questions to answer, but they're going to have to wait until Thursday or Friday evening (depending on when I can get my laptop up and going in the Hotel).  I'm looking forward to seeing FormBloggers at Keeneland on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and will update the rest of you on my progress (i.e. losing bets) during the evenings.

Take it easy,

Dan