08/06/2014 12:39PM

Palace rules Vanderbilt


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This week's race is Sunday's Saratoga Special.


At least one "Palace" came through at Saratoga last Saturday.

While heavily-favored PALACE MALICE flopped royally in the Grade 1 Whitney, the plucky New York-bred PALACE came through with a game and determined effort in the Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt at 6 furlongs.


It wasn't the strongest edition of the Vanderbilt, to be sure, but Palace faced a daunting task turning into the stretch at the Spa. Up front, two lengths ahead, was favored HAPPY MY WAY, a red-hot 4-year-old gelding that entered the fray off five consecutive triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures. Trained by Joe Orseno, Happy My Way scooted clear at the start and reeled off fractions of 22.13 and 44.49. For a moment or three, Happy My Way looked home free.

But Palace kept chugging under Cornelio Velasquez and he wore down Happy My Way to score in 1:08.56. Claimed for a mere $20,000 by Linda Rice from Bill Mott on October 6, 2012, Palace has compiled a record of 16-9-5-0 for owner Antonino Miuccio. Among his major victories are the Grade 3 Fall Highweight Handicap and the Grade 2 True North Stakes.

Palace broke a half-step slowly in the Vanderbilt and found himself pocketed behind Happy My Way on the turn. Once clear, his determined late run paid dividends.

"I was a little concerned about the No. 1 post position," Rice told NYRA Communications after the Vanderbilt. "It's not ideal. It looked like he broke a step slow, so I was a little concerned at that point. It looked like the No. 5 horse, Happy My Way, was on a loose lead. Obviously, I was somewhat concerned, but this horse is such a competitor. He's got the heart of a lion. Cornelio [Velasquez] went after [Happy My Way] early, and he was able to run him down in the stretch. This horse really has a strong finish, and once he switched to his right lead and he was in reach of [Happy My Way] - he's such a tremendous competitor - I knew that he would get to him."
Rice indicated that she believes six furlongs is Palace's best distance, but she wouldn't rule out a run in the Grade 1 Forego at seven panels on August 30 at Saratoga. He's a horse to definitely consider in future graded sprints.


Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 7/28/14 - 8/3/14

1. MORENO - 109 - Whitney (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles - Saratoga - August 2, Race 10
2. REGALLY READY - 108 - West Virginia House of Delegates Speaker Stakes - 1 Mile 70 Yards, Mountaineer - August 2, Race 9
3. PALACE - 107 - Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (G1) - 6 Furlongs - Saratoga - August 2, Race 8
4. MICO MARGARITA - 102 - Senator Robert C. Byrd Memorial Stakes - Mountaineer - August 2, Race 6
5. FILIMBI - 101 - De La Rose Stakes - 1 Mile (Turf) - Saratoga - August 2, Race 7
5. TAPITURE - 101 - West Virginia Derby (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles - Mountaineer - August 2, Race 8
5. R FREE ROLL - 101- Honorable Miss Handicap (G2) - 6 Furlongs - Saratoga - July 28, Race 8
8. BIG BLUE KITTEN - 100 - Lure Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Saratoga - August 2, Race 11
8. PALMY BAY - 100 - Louisiana Cup Sprint Stakes - 6 Furlongs - Louisiana - August 2, Race 4
10. NOTACATBUTALLAMA - 98 - Alw 85000NC - 1 Mile (Turf) - Saratoga, August 3, Race 4
10. WILLET - 98 - Alw 85000NC - 6 Furlongs - Saratoga - July 30, Race 3
12. AFTERNOON TANGO - 97 - Louisiana Cup Filly and Mare Sprint Stakes - 6 Furlongs - Louisiana - August 2, Race 2
12. CARVE - 97 - West Virginia Governor's Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - Mountaineer - August 2, Race 7
14. ANKENY HILL - 96 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 5 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Del Mar - August 2, Race 1
14. EVER RIDER (ARG) - 96 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 1/8 Miles - Saratoga - August 1, Race 4
14. SINISTRA - 96 - Evan Shipman Stakes - 1 1/8 Miles - Saratoga - July 31, Race 9
17. SPUN CAP - 95 - Hcp 34500 - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Ellis - August 2, Race 8
18. MASOCHISTIC - 94 - OC 20k/N1X -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Del Mar - July 31, Race 1
19. BET SEATTLE - 93 - West Virginia Legislature Chairman's Cup - 4 1/2 Furlongs - Mountaineer - August 2, Race 2
19. BIG JOHN B - 93 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 3/8 Miles (Turf) - Del Mar - July 30, Race 1
19. CAT'S CLAW - 93 - Waya Stakes - 1 1/2 Miles (Turf) - Saratoga - August 3, Race 9
19. COLTIMUS PRIME - 93 - Prince Of Wales Stakes - 1 3/16 Miles - Fort Erie - July 29, Race 8
19. GRANDE SHORES - 93 - OC35k/SAL25k - 6 Furlongs - Gulfstream - August 3, Race 3
19. HELOOKSTHEPART - 93 - OC 50k/C - 6 Furlongs - Prairie Meadows - July 31, Race 8
19. HIS RACE TO WIN - 93 - Seagram Cup Stakes (G3-C) - 1 1/16 Miles (Polytrack) - Woodbine - August 3, Race 8
19. KNOCKITDOWNHARD - 93 - OC 35k/C -N - 5 Furlongs - Louisiana - July 31, Race 3
19. MAGICAL MOMENT - 93 - StDonKMemStr30k - 1 Mile 70 Yards - Indiana - August 2, Race 7
19. SWEET REASON - 93 - Test Stakes (G1) - 7 Furlongs - Saratoga - August 2, Race 9
19. TREND - 93 - Joseph T. Grace Handicap - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Santa Rosa - August 3, Race 9

*The lifetime past performances for MORENO are available at the bottom of this blog post.


Saratoga, race 9, Sunday. The winner, Cat's Claw, has a (W) in one of her workouts where usually a (H) or (B) would be. Do you know what the (W) stands for?
Ron Z

Ashwell Stables has a wood-chip track. Below is a link to Marcus Hersh's piece on Ashwell from 2010:



The Whitney ? I am quite baffled as to why Paco LopeZ aboard Itsmyluckyday, decided to move off the rail in the stretch run vs. Moreno. He basically had the rail the entire race. So, why switch off the rail in the home stretch ? He cut the corner coming home & had it all his own way. There was room for a Mack Truck. Even Moreno went a few paths wide. He looked prime to take Moreno head on as he was approaching him. Then abruptly decided to alter course. If he was content o stay the rail during 80 % of the race, then why at the end ? I don't see the logic. He can't say the rail was dead, as he used it the whole way. ThanX. Please don't give the usual. If U might.
Curt V.

One more thing pleaZe, if U will. I watched a race @the Spa last Saturday, July 26th ?....... I believe. A MSW{2 yr. olds} featuring Competitive Edge{Pletcher} who obliterated the field by 11 widening lengths in a robust 1:09.4. This Double Slewster, top & bottom was a $750K purchase sired by Super Saver & has Seaside Attraction{by WHO} on the bottom. According to the pundits this guy is approaching eighteen{18} hands tall, & he is still growing. & it was a sprint{6F}. This is downright scary. Wait 'til he grows up. What ? 19 hands ? Ur impression & his Beyer pleaZe. & is he going directly to the Champagne ? If it was me, I'd skip the prelims. Let's get it over with real quick.
Curt V.

Regarding the Whitney, I wondered the same thing as the field turned into the stretch. Looking back, however, I don't think it would have made any difference. ITSMYLUCKYDAY was eased out into the clear and had his chance for the last three-sixteenths of a mile. He wasn't good enough on the day. He has a tendency to drift in under pressure and Lopez might not have wanted him down on the rail when the real racing started. Also, it's possible that MORENO would have tightened him up if Itsmyluckyday tried to move up the rail. I have no problem with the ride.

I don't know COMPETITIVE EDGE's height. I just know he's pretty talented. He received an 89 Beyer Speed Figure for his debut and will be pointed for Saratoga's Hopeful Stakes at seven furlongs on September 1.

Here's a video that Brad Free produced for HRTV about Competitive Edge:



Beau Genius the sire of your highlighted runner Big Macher has died (DRF July 29th). I'd love to see the PPs for Beau Genius.
Thanks so much.

The past performances for BEAU GENIUS are available at the bottom of this blog post.


*The links to the five most recent blogs (and blog comments) are listed below:







You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman


Congrats to Biggar W. for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling race.

Rick M's scoresheet is available at the bottom of this blog post.

On tab 2 you will see each HG Race we've held and they are color coded to denote if the race was run on Turf, Dirt or Poly.

Annie selected Friday's fourth from Del Mar as this week's exercise.


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 "60-Card Quarterly Formulator Past Performance Plan"

As an example :

HG 2014
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

HG wager
50$ Ex box 1-6
total $100

Thanks Dan!




MORENO.pdf684.66 KB
BEAU GENIUS.pdf603.74 KB
Copy of Formblog Arlington 8-1-14.xls74.5 KB
HGDMR.pdf181.65 KB
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well, I ordered my menu for Saturday: The DMR Pick 5, the Alabama, and the Arlington Million. That ought to keep me busy for awhile. :) Good luck to all playing this weekend and before!!! Annie
VanSavant More than 1 year ago
Folks; The breakdown of Annie’s ticket was instructive for sure. I play the Pick 5, and it is a profitable play for me, although I haven’t hit one in months (but I haven’t played much either). My philosophy with this bet is different than most here I suspect. If I don’t believe that I give myself a decent chance at winning this without spending more than $27 or sometimes even $40, then I generally don’t play it. And the reason for this is that for me, if I don’t have a strong enough opinion on two or three races (either using a single, or two horses), then I probably have no business playing this wager on this day. For me, I consider it a red flag when I have to go three or four deep a couple of times. And I understand how spending an extra $50 or $100 gives you enough coverage and protection to justify the play given the payouts, but that has never really been my style. I know this is a different philosophy from others, but for me, it works. As my caddie says to me when I instinctively reach for my 2-iron when faced with a 240 yard shot over water to a well-protected green… “know thyself”. So what do I do if I really like two or three races, but won’t play the Pick 5? Daily Doubles and Pick 3’s if those two or three races are in sequence is my solution, and if they are out of sequence (races 1, 3, and 5), then I simply pass. Later gators vs
hahafunnyfunny1 More than 1 year ago
this is for nasty virgin if you think any of the criteria you set out are relevant in any way to someone being "qualified" to give stock market advice, congratulations, you are officially a card-carrying member of the brainwashed masses. the only qualifications i require of someone giving me advice is a track record- none of those bells and whistles you listed have anything to do with making money in the stock market (except for the "so-qualified" broker "earning" fees off members of the brainwashed masses) - if someone has shown a profit for themselves or clients, that's all I would like proven. results is what it's all about - at the track, in the market, anywhere - people can talk a good game, show you certificates, diplomas, licenses - if you think any of that makes a hoot of a difference, good freakin luck! Ron'z obviously a bright guy, try asking him some questions that matter... p ensign
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dan (brutus), Well, if I may comment, I don't think $50 is too little for a Pick 4, What happened to you was kind of what happened to me in my Pick 5. I failed to take a stand with a single in the best race of the sequence, (that's where a single usually comes from) which would have allowed me to spread more in an iffier race and still stay within budget. Maidens on the turf are especially tricky (such as your last leg). I usually try to spread on those. I had a unique opportunity on Sat. and blew it. By unique, I mean having a stakes race in the first five races of the Cali Pick 5s. They usually are the weakest and most maiden filled sequence of the day. Even had I singled Enterprising though, there is no guarantee that I would have spread deep enough to catch Om. The multis are usually tough, that's for sure. If you've won with your $50 or less before, you can do it again. The right sequence comes along, everything falls into place with your thinking, and BOOM. :) Good luck! Annie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ron Z-great breakdown on Annie's ticket. You have provided much food for thought. trying to figure where/when to spread, especially w/ a limited budget is the biggest challenge/frustration in multis...Sat at the Spa, in the late p4, I went 3x4x3X2...the second leg was pretty wide open...but in retrospect, where I blew it was going 3 deep in the 3rd...I didn't have the courage to toss silver max and left myself vulnerable in the anchor leg, where I landed on the top 2 faves...the winner, a firster by dynaformer made perfect sense...but I just didn't have the $...the two faves made a charge at the end, but just missed... I really can't afford to invest more than$50.00 in a p4...while I hit them occasionally...more often than not, I end up in the situation I had Sat...I wonder if it too small a ticket to hit realistically... Dan (brutus)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Okie, I would say, yes, that would be a good workout at Fair Hill. Usually works at the training centers are slower than on the tracks. In So Cal, of course, I'd like to see 47 or thereabouts. Annie
Turnbackthealarm More than 1 year ago
Joe L, I am excited to see Larry Collmus going to NYRA. Call me a Monmouth homer, but I have always enjoyed his voice and his calls. No one can duplicate a Tom Durkin who was very unique in style and voice, but Larry Collmus is very pleasant and easy to listen too. Call me a softie, but one thing I have noticed about many of the race callers and Durkin and Collmus in particular is how when a horse has gone down they noticeably have a hard time collecting themselves and finishing. They try, but you can tell they not only do their job, they love the animals too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
" buy and hold is basically the only strategy in the stock market to make money, other than insider trading." " buy and hold. especially you youngster's as time and compounding is on your side." since you must feel that your doing the community ( especially young people on the blog ) a service by telling them to *Buy And Hold* why don't you first tell us what your Qualifications are for giving such advice. have you ever worked on Wall Street? are you/or have you ever been a Licensed Broker? have you ever worked for a Mutual Fund Company and if so in what capacity? what if any degrees do you have in finance? what college/colleges did you attend and graduate from? I think those are pretty fair questions for some one who is telling others what the best strategy is for making money in the stock market Hot 'N' Nasty
Okiesharp More than 1 year ago
Would 48 & change be a good work out at the Fair Hill training center? Okiesharp
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Laura ..still on the road, but saw your latest polysires list. YEA!! Damn! You and Steve and your personal cohorts do great work. I had to laugh at loud at your heading "Lies, Damn Lies and STATISTICS presented by Uncle Steve T " Those who take this literally , well....do at your own risk :) Those new to formblog , to as I will ... copying this document , for sure....and OMG it's free ! SR Vegas ...Okay, RAH is calling me to go off for dinner....still on the road :)