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By Dan Illman
What more can be said about ORB?
He's wonderfully consistent, has an excellent turn of foot, handles any kind of racetrack and it looks like he can stay all day. After splashing under the hallowed Twin Spires as a popular winner of the Kentucky Derby, racing fans are turning their attention to the Triple Crown, the sword in the stone that hasn't been conquered since Affirmed in 1978.
Not to take anything away from the talented Orb, but it's fair to say that some of his vanquished foes were compromised by the wet footing at Churchill Downs, and that's something to consider when Orb goes off at odds-on in the Preakness.
Todd Pletcher's "fab five" were all beaten by Orb, and Pletcher thought the footing hurt VERRAZANO, who is now being pointed to the Haskell. "He just never got the kind of trip we hoped for," said Pletcher. "That fast pace was just no good for him. And he was the one -- of all our horses -- who was affected most by the racetrack. He just couldn’t handle it.”
Eddie Plesa, trainer of possible Preakness entrant ITSMYLUCKYDAY, also felt the track hurt his horse's chances. "Elvis (Trujillo) said he didn’t like the track. It was something I was concerned about, but we were all running on the same track.”
John Terranova, trainer of Falling Sky, mentioned that the longshot didn't handle the track. He emerged from the race with a chip and will be on the sidelines for the time being.
Also, while it's quite possible that GOLDENCENTS won't last a classic distance, his cause was hurt considerably when the newly-blinkered PALACE MALICE ran off on the lead. Goldencents' rider, Kevin Krigger, was stuck between a rock and a hard place after the opening furlong. After breaking slowly, Goldencents rushed up to set the pace, but he was immediately confronted by Palace Malice. If Krigger went with the Pletcher runner, a speed duel would certainly have cooked him. He chose Plan B, which was to rate Goldencents, a horse that doesn't like to be told what to do. Perhaps he deserves another chance in Baltimore.
Either way, Orb-Mania will be running wild until the Preakness. Let's enjoy the ride.
*Our friends from across the pond may wonder what all the fuss is about concerning Orb. After all, DAWN APPROACH is undefeated from seven starts and became a classic winner by taking his 3-year-old debut in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday. A winner at distances ranging from five to eight furlongs, Dawn Approach will now tackle the Epsom Derby at 1 1/2 miles. We'll see if he can last the trip, but there's no denying his quality.
*It was nice to see CAMELOT get back to the winner's circle at the Curragh on Monday. As a 3-year-old of 2013, Camelot won the 2,000 Guineas, the Epsom Derby and Irish Derby before being denied the English Triple Crown with a second-place finish in the St. Leger. After being beaten as the favorite in the Arc de Triomphe, Camelot underwent emergency colic surgery, but he didn't show much rust in his return to the races in the Group 3 Mooresbridge Stakes at 1 1/4 miles. The Tattersalls Gold Cup is next.
*Rosie Napravnik didn't get the big money in the Kentucky Derby, but she rode the two fastest horses over the weekend. Both TAKE CHARGE INDY and DELAUNAY received 109 Beyer Speed Figures for their graded stakes victories. Of Delaunay, Rosie told track publicity that "...he’s such a cool horse. He’ll do whatever you ask him. He’s very speedy and he’ll relax if you need him to. He’s just a very fast horse. Since Tom’s (Amoss) had him, he’s really come around. The track wasn’t a problem at all for him. He’s got a good record on wet tracks. We weren’t worried about that.”
Rosie was also impressed with Take Charge Indy, last year's Florida Derby hero. "He accelerated like not every horse can do. He was really on his toes today."
*It looks like trainer Enebish Ganbat was stealing when he put over 3-year-old gelding MONGOLIAN SATURDAY in a $25,000 maiden claimer at Arlington on May 5. The first-time starter, a $60,000 yearling by Any Given Saturday, ran off the screen when scoring by 10 3/4 lengths at six furlongs. He earned a 96 Beyer and won't be in for a tag next time.
*Looks like it was worth the wait for EVERTON, a 4-year-old son of Indian Charlie that made a winning debut for Bob Baffert over the cushion track at Betfair Hollywood on May 5. A $140,000 short yearling that was purchased for $500,000 as a yearling, Everton stalked and pounced his way to a 98 Beyer in the six-furlong maiden special weight. Everton is out of Strike Rate, the winner of the $50,000 Wintergreen Stakes going a mile on the old dirt track at Turfway Park.
*A nice return to the races for DAYATTHESPA in the You Go West Girl Stakes for New York-breds at Belmont on May 5. Away since the Grade 1 Matriarch on November 25 after suffering a cut on her tendon that needed stitches, Dayathespa crushed the inferior opposition by four lengths with a 95 Beyer. She's a Grade 1 winner that will be back against top competition in the near future.
*ON THE WORKTAB:
Multiple Grade 1 winner EXECUTIVEPRIVILEGE, unraced since 4th in the Hollywood Starlet on 12/8/12 (quarter cracks), worked 3F in 38.20 at Betfair Hollywood.
Grade 1 winner BOOK REVIEW, unraced since 2nd in Santa Maria on 2/16 (missed time with temperature), worked 4F in 49.00 (7/13) at Santa Anita.
FORDUBAI, 2nd in Illinois Derby, breezed 5F in 1:06.00 over Arlington polytrack (16/16). Missed a slight amount of time with a cough.
GOVENOR CHARLIE, withdrawn from Derby consideration due to foot bruise/sore hind end, breezed 6F in 1:11.40 at Churchill (1/3). Possible for Preakness.
Grade 3 winner MY HAPPY FACE, unraced since 2nd in Forward Gal on 1/26 due to virus (missed 2 weeks), breezed bullet 5F in 1:01.10 at Aqueduct.
Multiple stakes-winning 3-year-old MAC THE MAN (heat right front hoof) breezed 4F in 49.80 at Presque Isle Downs (10/12).
MUCHO MACHO MAN, 2nd in 2012 BC Classic, breezed 4F in 50.00 at Fair Hill (6/6). He missed some time after his last start with a virus.
Grade 1 Haskell winner PAYNTER (suffered from life-threatening ailments) drilled 5F in 1:01.80 at Betfair Hollywood Park (38/68)
Keith L., a loyal FormBlogger for many years, passed away last week. I'd like to offer my sincerest condolences to his friends and family. I never had the pleasure of meeting Keith, but his posts showcased his immense zest for life and passion for horse racing. He'll be missed terribly.
Also, it's with a heavy heart that I mention the passing of Van Savant's mother. Van Savant's witty and intelligent posts have always been entertaining and enlightening. My prayers are with him and his family at this difficult time.
Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures (4/29/13 - 5/5/13):
1. DELAUNAY - 109 - Churchill Downs Stakes (G2) - 7 Furlongs - Churchill
1. TAKE CHARGE INDY - 109 - Alysheba Stakes (G2) - 1 1/16 Miles - Churchill
3. LIAISON - 105 - Mervyn LeRoy Handicap (G2) - 1 1/16 Miles (Cushion Track) - Betfair Hollywood
4. ORB - 104 - Kentucky Derby (G1) - 1 1/4 Miles - Churchill
4. PATRIOT'S VOYAGE - 104 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 7 Furlongs (Cushion Track) - Betfair Hollywood
4. SERUNI - 104 - OC 125k/N1S -N - 1 1/16 Miles - Churchill
4. WISE DAN - 104 - Turf Classic Stakes (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - Churchill
8. AUTHENTICITY - 102 - La Troienne Stakes (G2) - 1 1/16 Miles - Churchill
9. COMMA TO THE TOP - 100 - Cool Frenchy Stakes - 5 Furlongs (Cushion Track) - Betfair Hollywood
9. STEPHANIE'S KITTEN - 100 - Distaff Turf Mile (G2) - 1 Mile (Turf) - Churchill
11. EVERTON - 98 - Md Sp Wt 53k - 6 Furlongs (Cushion Track) - Betfair Hollywood
11. KEEP ME INFORMED - 98 - OC 50k/C - 1 Mile - Belmont
11. PLAINVIEW - 98 - OC 35k/N1X -N - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Belmont
14. MANANDO - 97 - OC 80k/N1X -N - 1 1/16 Miles (Cushion Track) - Betfair Hollywood
14. MOONSHINE BAY - 97 - Alw 34816NC - 6 Furlongs (Tapeta) - Golden Gate
14. PRINCESS OF SYLMAR - 97 - Kentucky Oaks (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles - Churchill
14. TEDDY'S PROMISE - 97 - Time to Leave Stakes - 5 Furlongs (Cushion Track) - Betfair Hollywood
18. LUBASH - 96 - Fort Marcy Stakes (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Belmont
18. MONGOLIAN SATURDAY - 96 - Md 25000(25-20) - 6 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Arlington
18. SOFT WHISPER - 96 - OC 80k/N3X -N - 1 Mile (Turf) - Churchill
21. DAYATTHESPA - 95 - You Go West Girl Stakes - 1 Mile (Turf) - Belmont
21. DOUBLE OURS - 95 - Alw 21000N1X - 6 Furlongs - Lone Star
21. OUR DOUBLE PLAY - 95 - OC 75k/N1X -N - 7 Furlongs - Churchill
21. UNITAS - 95 - Alw 35000NC - 6 Furlongs - Evangeline
25. GLAMOUR PUSS - 94 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 6 Furlongs - Churchill Downs
25. HESSONITE - 94 - Beaugay Stakes (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Belmont
25. WILKINSON - 94 - OC 80k/C -N - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Betfair Hollywood
*The past performances for TAKE CHARGE INDY and DELAUNAY are available at the bottom of this blog post.
Who was the last Derby favorite that had never hit triple figure BSF? Has there been one since Beyer published his system? Good luck everyone.
Prior to ORB, Dialed In (2011) was the last Derby favorite that had no triple-digit Beyers on his form (Best number a 97).
To Dan Illman
A question about a statement you made in your Derby HG analyes about Orb.
"He's going to be a short price, too short for me to bet on him to win,"
Just curious what you thought Orb's post time odds would be and what price would you have needed to bet him to win?
What odds did you think Goldencents would be? What odds were acceptable?
And, do you make a betting line? If so, is it usually just for your contenders or for all horses? Do you care, pay attention, if you make a horse 20-1 and the public has them at 8-1, say?
Picking the winner out of the Form is mostly straightforward as we all have our own rules and styles of horses we like, but when it comes to wagering, all bets are out the window as the dynamics of the toteboard come into play and the personalities of the horseplayers. Just looking for another point of view.
Ron, those are excellent questions. Thanks. I do try to make a betting line for each race I handicap in the hope of exploiting overlays. While I concentrate most of my attention to my top contenders, I do make a line for all of the horses in order for the percentages to add up correctly.
Here was my personal line for the "Tier 1" horses that I mentioned in the Derby HandiGambling blog:
GOLDENCENTS - 10-1
LINES OF BATTLE - 20-1
ORB - 5-1
NORMANDY INVASION - 8-1
VERRAZANO - 6-1
PALACE MALICE - 20-1
Here were the post-time odds:
GOLDENCENTS - 7-1
LINES OF BATTLE - 31-1
ORB - 5-1
NORMANDY INVASION - 9-1
VERRAZANO - 8-1
PALACE MALICE - 23-1
My line was fairly close with Lines of Battle representing a bit of an overlay.
While Orb was right where I had him, I just can't take a horse at 5-1 in a field of 19 runners that had never gone the distance and were racing over a sloppy track to boot. Goldencents was an underlay at 7-1 considering his distance and surface questions.
I'm probably being too strict, but I need 10-1 before I'll play a horse to win in the Derby. Thank goodness for multiple-race wagers, especially on Derby day where the payouts are usually generous. I would advise all handicappers to take a stab at making personal odds lines. You mentioned a case where your line has a horse at 20-1 and the public makes him 8-1. In that situation, there are going to be overlays elsewhere in the race.
Is the Churchill Downs Training Center a dirt or synthetic surface?
The Churchill Training Center is a dirt track.
U know you're my guy but why not go all the way and play lines of battle on top? I'm gonna use goldinscets as my real money 3rd horse (behind Verazzano and Lines of Battle) but if you got that close with Lines why not pull the triigger?
I'd been burned too many times by the European invaders. I just couldn't do it. I think I'm probably one of the handicappers that overthinks the Derby and my poor record in the race has me at an all-time low from a confidence perspective.
You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman
Congrats to Rando6 for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling exercise.
Let's go with Saturday's Peter Pan Stakes as this week's race.
PAST PERFORMANCES ARE AVAILABLE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS BLOG POST.
Remember that you have a mythical $100 with which to wager on the race, and the entrant with the highest money total will receive a "Monthly Enhanced 60-Card Past Performance Plan."
Anyone going over the $100 limit will be disqualified.
Please post your plays and analysis to the blog.
PLEASE GIVE YOUR NAME OR BLOG MONIKER AT THE END OF THE HG PLAY AND/OR ANALYSIS.
Please separate the play from the analysis and label the play "HG" with the program numbers (instead of the horse's name) for easier scoring.
In the event of a tie, the earliest post gets first preference. One entry per person please.
I reserve the right to approve or deny any entries.
I know that there is a time issue for some of you, but 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. I'm 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.
***FROM SCOREKEEPER PENN NATIONAL RICK***
I read some entries on here and there are some people who put their heart out on their picks(such as DavidM9999) and give you great analysis on who they like and why and then there are others who elect not to give any reasoning behind their entries. The rule I will implement EFFECTIVE 3/1/13 will be... any entry without ANY analysis will be ignored. We are not asking you to put out a novel, but again a sentence or two. Also, I will put communication out when Dan puts out new blogs.
My intent is not to be jerk on this, but what's fair is fair. I'm not taking away from this week or past winners regarding all of this, but we do need to make the change.
If you have any questions/concerns...please send an email to FORMBLOG@DRF.COM and it will get forwarded to me.
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 LATE THAN THE FOLLOWING WEDNESDAY MORNING (A FRIDAY RACE IS MOST IDEAL).
Best of luck to all.
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Bill Tichy Your IAM PREKNESS AND BELLMONT convinced me! TurfRuler
Attention All Orb is in fact running from post position #1 in the Preakness. Does anyone owe Mr. Tichy an apology? Maybe he is clairvoyant? Maybe a time traveller? Both would be good ways to improve ones handicapping. I bet I could sell a book touting these methods. Could not be worse than some of the theories out there.
Mr. Tichy, Writing in all caps is considered yelling!! Don't be yelling at us, PLEASE!?!?!?! Good luck with your wagers in the Preakness!! Annie, Ok on the cats info!! My feral cats are calico's!! :) Well, the ones I can pet, that is. Keith L, Belated Happy Birthday to you, as you would have turned 70 yesterday!!!! I know, you know, you can keep on giving me your $0.02 cents worth anytime, it's greatly appreciated!!! DavidM9999, My condolences on the loss of your furry friend!! :( I gots pictures of my ferals!! Some pretty cats too!! https://www.facebook.com/index.php?lh=0d93ecfdeee8f796ac32ab77d41229e9& Anderson, Thank you!! I was shocked to see that 79 placing!! I've been in the top 150 once before, then reality set in the next weekend!! LOL I hope it does not happen this coming weekend!! LOL Whacky!! You got some winners!! Darn 3 in the 4th had to mess up your Pick 4. :( Did you see the name of the 7 horse in the 9th?? That was your pal sending you a winner!! Too bad I didn't look at the paper today while at work, name play for sure!!! Jeanne
I love the humour re Mr Tichy. Of course folks, he could have the last laugh if his numbers come up as predicted. Just a thought. Best Regards - Bernard Downes
Bill Tichy Wow.......way to go out on a limb. Did ya just pick the four fav-o-rites? I guess I don't need an expert or a Bill Tichy to come to that conclusion. Well.....day in day out, the fav-o-rite does win 33% of the time, so............there ya go. YFL
I WAS GONNA SPEND ME SOME MONEY ON THE POWERBALL TONIGHT, BUT NOW I SEE I DON'T NEED TO. I WILL QUIT MY JOB FIRST THING TOMORROW MORNING AND THEN GO STRAIGHT TO THE BANK TO WITHDRAW ALL MY MONEY FOR SAT. A'INT LIFE GRAND!! HOW MUCH DO YOU THINK THAT SUPER IS GONNA PAY? Longwaytomay
Whew! That's a relief. I have figured out what the Tichy Magic Numbers, 1 6 8 5, mean. The Preakness entrants are listed in Mike Watchmaker's odds order from lowest to highest. 1 corresponds to Orb, 6 to Will Take Charge, and so on. Now we do not need to be confused as to rather we should bet those numbers, or the horses he mentioned, which of course will have different numbers after the draw. :) Just think, after Saturday, if I had a job I could quit it. :) My apologies to Mr. Tichy, but if someone comes on here out of the blue and proclaims themselves the best, they are bound to get some flak from this crowd. Annie
Happy Wednesday; Still thinking of my friend Keith L...Maybe he give us some winners today... Spot play's Belmont: Race #2 #8 Arriba Anna $400 W / P Breeding / Brown / Castellano team up, #1a gets all of the $$$$ Race #3 #6 D'princess #400 W/P Castellano right back. Race #4 #6 Assured $400 W/P A slewster!! price, breeding #1 will be crushed from the Zayat Stable. Race #5 #9 North Ocean $400 W / P Oxley High weight will get it done. Race #2 $10 Pick 4 8 // 2,5,6 / 1,6 // 6,7,9,10 = $240 Good Luck All. Whackymacky Out!!!
David M. Don't underestimate Bristol in the Skipat. Holiday Soiree, the other one of two at Chucktown, ran a good third in the Humana Distaff on Derby Day.
Way to go Jeanne, Now listed 79th on the 'PH challenge' list.